Showers in a ruin

Place Asia: Borneo, Balikpapan
Accession Number ART22907
Collection type Art
Measurement Overall: 78 x 57.2 cm
Object type Work on paper
Physical description pen and brush and ink with coloured washes and crayon heightened with white on paper
Maker Friend, Donald
Place made Borneo: Balikpapan
Date made 1945
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


In 1942 Donald Friend enlisting with the AIF, was posted as a gunner to the artillery unit near Albury. In 1945, he was selected for appointment as official war artist. He travelled to Morotai, Labuan and Balikpapan, recording sights which confronted him and drawing in particular on the expressive potential of human form. Friend was extraordinarily prolific, producing 53 paintings and 143 drawings for the Memorial. In August 1945 he travelled to Balikpapan in Borneo. The Army and RAAF lived amongst the ruins of Balikpapan. This work depicts a number of men in a primitive shower made between wrecked walls and burnt wood. On 13 August in his Diary Friend noted; ' Another dull, cool, grey day. I worked on a picture of boys in the showers- an excuse for the pleasure of drawing nudes'.