THIS EXHIBITION OCCURRED IN THE PAST
Art in Conflict is a new touring exhibition of contemporary art from the collection of the Australian War Memorial.
A showcase of diverse responses to war, the exhibition includes more than seventy paintings, drawings, films, prints, photography and sculptures. Leading Australian artists are represented, such as Khadim Ali, Rushdi Anwar, eX de Medici, Denise Green, Richard Lewer, Mike Parr and Ben Quilty. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, a collection priority for the Memorial in recent years, is featured, with works by Tony Albert, Paddy Bedford, Robert Campbell Jr, Michael Cook, Shirley Macnamara and Betty Muffler. Three major new bodies of work debut in this exhibition: two recent official war art commissions – Susan Norrie (Iraq, 2016) and Megan Cope (Middle East, 2017) – and a landmark commemorative work by Angelica Mesiti.
Contemporary artists’ responses to conflict bring to light untold stories, reveal neglected histories and deepen our understanding of Australia’s experience of conflict, both past and present. Megan Cope reflected on the experience of being an official war artist:
I’m really honoured to have my work at the Memorial. It certainly is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of experience. I never would have expected it, to be honest, so I hope that people like the work, and ask lots of questions, and think about our relationship with the Middle East.
Supported by research from an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project, the exhibition highlights how war art can lead us to consider different ways of thinking about current and recent conflicts, inviting us to consider perspectives we might not otherwise encounter.
Khadim Ali Transition/evacuation 2015 (detail) | gouache, ink, and gold leaf on wasli paper. ART96912, image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial
An Australian War Memorial touring exhibition.