Back from Thailand

Unit 8 Australian Division
Accession Number ART25103
Collection type Art
Measurement Overall: 36.4 x 46.8 cm
Object type Drawing
Physical description pencil on paper
Maker Griffin, Murray
Place made Singapore: Changi
Date made 1943
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Item copyright: AWM Licensed copyright


Figure studies of recently returned men from the Burma-Thailand railway, with emaciated limbs and bodies, showing their physical condition. Griffin documents the tropical skin diseases that ravaged many prisoners bodies. Infections and tropical ulcers could often lead to amputation of a limb. This is one of a small collection of works on paper by Murray Griffin, a captured official war artist, done in Changi. Over the three years, Griffin's work changes from an optimistic record of camp life, to detached evidence of atrocities and death. The images deals with the themes of camp life, making do, the brutality of forced labour.