Rescued prisoners of war, Balikpapan

Place Asia: Borneo, Balikpapan
Accession Number ART22910
Collection type Art
Measurement sheet: 40 x 58.7 cm [irregular]; image: 40 x 58.7 cm [irregular]
Object type Drawing
Physical description pen and ink, brush and wash, crayon and white gouache on paper
Location Main Bld: World War 2 Gallery: Gallery 4: Borneo
Maker Friend, Donald
Place made Borneo: Balikpapan
Date made 1945
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
Copyright

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain

Description

This work depicts Australians liberated from Japanese custody in Balikpapan, Borneo. Friend shows the deteriorating physical condition of the men held prisoners of the Japanese after such a long period. They were in a bad state from fever, malnutrition, beri beri and general ill-treatment. 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.