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Your Friend the Enemy


ANU Drill Hall Gallery, Canberra

S. H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney

Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, Bathurst, NSW

Pataka Art + Museum, Wellington, New Zealand

Goulburn Art Gallery, Goulburn

QUT Art Museum, Brisbane

A section of an artwork.

A group exhibition of artists from Australia and New Zealand travelled to Gallipoli to paint for an exhibition opening on the 100 year anniversary of the Gallipoli landings on Anzac Day.

As the 100 year anniversary of the Gallipoli landing was approaching, an invitation arrived for me to travel to Gallipoli on an artist trip. The finished artworks were to be exhibited in time for this momentous event. The entourage was made up of Australian and 3 artists, photographer Robert Linnegar, film maker Bruce Inglis, military historian Brad Manera, and art critic John McDonald.

Our accommodation was a hotel in Eceabat Turkey and our local bus driver would take us to our chosen location on the Gallipoli peninsula where we had time to create and explore. The top floor of our hotel overlooked the Dardenelles Strait and was our daytime studio for those wanting to work indoors.

War historian Brad Manera’s descriptions and stories fed our imaginations, at times bringing us to tears, and all the while fueling the sadness in our hearts.


For the exhibition, I included small botanical sketches of plants growing at Anzac Cove and North Beach, a snail from Chunuk Bair, and a moth from Cape Helles. It was on this trip that I began painting bullets, shrapnel and old bullets – some still live – as found by other artists scouring Shrapnel Gully in the shadow of the Sphinx. I painted a pine cone from the cemetery at Lone Pine and one from The Nek, one of the saddest places I’ve experienced.


In my studio back in Australia, I undertook my biggest artistic challenge up to that time, and illustrated two Lee Enfield .303 rifles, both life-sized and drawn accurately as if they were one of my scientific botanical illustrations.


Participating artists

Deirdre Bean

Elisabeth Cummings

Steve Lopes

Euan Macleod

Guy Maestri

Idris Murphy

Michael Nock

Peter O’Doherty

Susan O’Doherty

Stanley Palmer

Amanda Penrose Hart

Leo Robba

Luke Scibberas

Michael Shepherd

Jonathan Throsby

John Walsh


Artist Profile Your Friend the Enemy: Special edition

(edited by John McDonald)

On sale from 19 March 2015

View catalogue here.

For more information regarding availability of artwork click here

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