• Art of Nation: Mapping field sketches

    Friday 2 December 2016 by Emily Wubben. 1 comments

    Will Longstaff, Amiens Cathedral, 23 July 1918

    The majority of the artworks included in ‘Art of Nation’ will be field sketches, pinned to the location they depict, so users will be able to follow the journeys of the First World War official war artists and explore the location ‘then and now’ in Google maps. Mapping the field sketches was fascinating; for some it was straightforward but for others in-depth detective work was required. George Benson, Frank Crozier, James Fraser…

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  • Art of Nation: Latest progress shots

    Wednesday 9 November 2016 by Anthea Gunn.

    Memorial landscape

    We have just received work-in-progress shots of the next phase of Art of Nation: the landscaping that will surround the building.Image: OrteliaThis immediately ‘grounds’ the building – rather than the ‘heavenly’ atmosphere in an earlier phase, when the building was being created in isolation from the landscape.View from front door, down Anzac Parade, 8 November 2016. Image: OrteliaThe landscape also serves to position the …

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  • First walkthrough: Art of Nation

    Friday 9 September 2016 by Anthea Gunn.

    Art of Nation development, 5 Sept

    The highlight of my week has been the arrival of the ‘walkthrough’ version of the Art of Nation gallery. Until now we have been working from still images Ortelia send us of the space to develop the architecture and interior design. Now we are able to navigate through the building and experience the massive scale Bean intended.The next stage is to fine-tune the design of the building and the interiors. Once this is finalised we can …

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  • Building Bean’s memorial museum

    Monday 15 August 2016 by Anthea Gunn.

    Art of Nation development

    Initial construction – front façade, as at 27 June 2016, Image: Ortelia “This is the most fun thing anyone has ever paid me to do!” has become something of a refrain for me in recent months. The Art of Nation will present an online, interactive interpretation of Charles Bean’s 1919 drawing of the Memorial building. Taking a fairly simple sketch and translating it into a navigable, 3D space has resulted in seemingly endless …

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  • The Art of Nation and the centenary of the official war art scheme

    Monday 15 August 2016 by Anthea Gunn.

    Chateau St Gratien

    The idea for the Art of Nation emerged from discussions about how to address the centenary of the start of the official war art scheme. Aside from the official portraits commissioned by the Commonwealth Art Advisory Board, the Memorial holds the first significant art collection established by the federal government. It was the start of what is now the oldest, ongoing art commissioning program in Australia. The collection can be roughly …

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  • HMAS Voyager wrecked and burning at Betano Bay

    Friday 5 February 2016 by .

    Charles Bush,

    In December 1945 official war artist Charles Bush found himself sketching in the crashing surf of Betano Bay, Timor, recording the rusting hulk of HMAS Voyager. More than three years previously this bay had been the site of dramatic events that ultimately ended with the scuttling of the ship. Charles Bush was following in the traditions of the Official War Art Scheme established during the First World War to record and reconstruct …

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  • Recent donation of rare watercolours by John Brack

    Wednesday 4 March 2015 by Cherie Prosser.

    John Brack, [Map instruction], 1945, pencil and watercolour on paper.

    Recent donation of rare watercolours made by John Brack while in the army during the Second World War. John Brack, [Map instruction], 1945, pencil and watercolour on paper. ART96398 In 2014, the Australian War Memorial received a generous donation of twenty drawings and watercolours by the Australian modernist artist John Brack (1920—1999). This donationis …

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  • Building Butts and Bayonets; A guide to moulding and casting replica rifles for the FWW dioramas

    Wednesday 4 February 2015 by Emily Mulvihill. 8 comments

    Peeling two halves of the mould

    A large component of the conservation process and the overall rejuvenation of the First World War dioramas at the AWM has been to create new rifles and bayonets for missing or non-original rifles (suspected to be from previous interventions).Assessing the materialsthey were constructed fromalong with images from the initial diorama displays in the 1930’s we were able to identify original rifles and to hence find appropriate examples …

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  • New Art Acquisition by Eric Thake

    Friday 30 January 2015 by Cherie Prosser.

    Eric Thake, Self-portrait in a broken shaving mirror One of only two self-portraits by Eric Thake produced during his Official War Artist commission, 1944-45. Eric Thake (1904-1982) was a Modernist painter with an interest in Surrealism, a style that developed in the early 1920s, best known for its contradictory and illogical scenes, expressing unconscious ideas and concepts. His contemporary approach to art made him an unlikely …

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  • Perspectives of Parit Sulong

    Thursday 22 January 2015 by Garth O'Connell. 4 comments

    2/19th Battalion 2/29th Battalion AIF Imperial Japanese Guards Parit Sulong Massacre

    Perspectives of Parit Sulong Today marks the 73rd anniversary of a tragic chapter in the history of the Australian Defence Force - thefirst documented massacre of Australian troops by the Imperial Japanese during the Second World Warat Parit Sulong in Malaya on 22 January 1942. In mid January 1942 a small Australian and Indian force was cut off by the Japanese around Bakri and Parit Sulong in Malaya (now known as Malaysia). The …

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