Operations room, HMAS Kanimbla

Unit Royal Australian Navy
Accession Number ART91755
Collection type Art
Measurement overall: 40 x 65 cm; frame: 53.1 x 78.1 x 3.2 cm
Object type Painting
Physical description oil on hardboard
Location Main Bld: Afghanistan Gallery
Maker Churcher, Peter
Place made Persian Gulf
Date made 20 February 2002
Conflict Period 2000-2009
Afghanistan, 2001-
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC

Three men wearing headsets seated in front of computer screens in the operations room of HMAS Kanimbla. Peter Churcher recalled, "This room was in a sense the strategic heart of the ship containing all the radio and radar tracking devices for the whole Gulf area. I was taken with the cramming together of the people in the confined space with all the technological equipment creating an amazing composition of dark shapes and brilliant lights and colours".
Peter Churcher was appointed official artist in January 2002 to record Australia's involvement in the International Coalition against Terrorism. He travelled to the Middle East and spent three weeks with the RAN on board HMAS Kanimbla and Adelaide in the Persian Gulf. Leaving the Middle East, Churcher spent time on Diego Garcia, a US military base in the Indian Ocean with the RAAF. In September 2002 he completed his commission in Afghanistan, recording the activities of the SAS at Bagram.