Vilu Military Museum

Unit HMAS Canberra (1928 - 1942)
Place Oceania: Pacific Islands, Solomon Islands, Guadalcanal, Vilu
Accession Number ART94156.001
Collection type Art
Measurement sheet: 38.5 cm x 57.5 cm
Object type Drawing
Physical description watercolour on paper
Maker eX de Medici
Place made Australia: Australian Capital Territory, Canberra
Date made 2009
Conflict Solomon Islands (RAMSI), 2003-2013
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC

This is the left panel of the triptych. This triptych combines several different locations around Guadalcanal. The Vilu Military Museum is east of Honiara. It is an open air museum that contains decaying US and Japanese aircraft and artillery from the Second World War. It also houses the humble memorial to HMAS Canberra, sunk during the battle of Savo Island (colloquially known as the 'battle of Sitting Ducks'). The sinking of Canberra remains a contentious issue. It was attacked by a Japanese ship, but may also have been hit by an Allied one. An Australian and a Tongan, as representatives of RAMSI, contemplate the memorial. In the background is Gold Ridge, a foreign-owned gold-mining operation. Each of these elements contributes to a visual history of events that inform the current fragile state of the Solomon Islands.