Soldiers, Albury Station
Image copyright: © Australian War Memorial licensed copyright
|Title||Soldiers, Albury Station|
|Maker||Drysdale, Russell (Artist)|
|Place made||Australia: New South Wales, Albury|
|Medium||ink and dry pastel on paper|
|Measurement||sheet: 34.2 cm x 45.2 cm; image: 34.2 x 45.2 cm (irregular)|
Depicts four Australian soldiers seated in a row in coats and slouch hats. Three are sitting with their hands in pockets, on a bench, while the forth is perched on the end fast asleep. Albury train station became a notable source of inspiration for Drysdale. As the intersection where the railway lines changed gauge between Victoria and New South Wales, it became an important stopover for Australian servicemen. Troops were often stranded there for hours, and Drysdale observed them huddled in groups, sleeping, or chatting to one another. In 'Soldiers, Albury Station' Drysdale captures the loneliness and uncertainty felt by many soldiers as they waited for a train that would take them to their next posting. Using the drapery of their greatcoats to wrap around and entomb their bodies, it recalls the work of British artist Henry Moore's. Moore was part of an exhibition of official British war art that toured Australia in 1943 and was also written about in the Australian journal 'Art in Australia'. During the war he created a series of drawings of sleeping people in the makeshift bomb shelters of the London Underground.