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ART93993

Image copyright: © Australian War Memorial,
Creative Commons License This image is licensed under CC BY-NC

ID number ART93993
Title Night patrols (Around Maliana)
Collection Art
Object type Painting
Artist Cattapan, Jon
Place made Australia: Victoria, Melbourne
Date made 2009
Medium oil on Belgian linen
Measurement Overall: 120 x 300 cm (Three panels)

Description

This triptych represents the culmination of the ideas represented in the Carbon group monoprints and night vision studies.

A transparent frieze of soldiers is dispersed across the bottom of the triptych; it is as if they are moving like ghosts across the field of vision at night. There is a sense of dislocation: the soldiers are bemused, not quite knowing what they are doing in this strange land, and the seductive colours of the multilayered background overwhelm them, yet at the same time seem to draw them into an endless landscape. The red tones appear as hotspots, areas of potential danger, and the green tones, night surveillance.

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Overlaid on the work is a contour map of the Maliana area, just a few kilometres from the border with Indonesia, similar to those shown at daily briefings or used by ADF patrols. This layer creates for the soldiers a tenuous link to Timor-Leste. Without it, they could be anywhere, in almost any peacekeeping location. "Dots of data" are placed on the surface of the canvas like immense streams of information.

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