ART26487

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

ID number ART26487
Title Cutting up rubber logs for firewood, Changi
Collection Art
Object type Drawing
Maker Griffin, Murray (Artist)
Place made Singapore: Changi
Date made 1942
Medium gouache, watercolour and pencil on paper
Measurement overall: 25.6 x 36.8 cm

Description

Three men from the 2 Australian Imperial Force cutting rubber tree logs with an axe for firewood. Providing firewood for the camp was one of the main activities for the prisoners, as without wood there would be no fire for cooking their rations. A Forestry unit was specially established during the first few days of captivity for this task. This was probably one of the first works completed by Griffin as a captured official war artist. He had left a box of art supplies in Singapore before the fall of the city in February 1942 and a few months later a work party discovered the box and presented it to him, therefore enabling him to continue working. Over the three years, Griffin's work changes from an optimistic record of camp life, to detached evidence of atrocities and death. The works deal with major themes of POW life camp life, making do, the brutality of forced labour.