Waiting at H-Pod, Dili

Place Asia: Timor-Leste, Dili
Accession Number ART93984
Collection type Art
Measurement Sheet: 572 cm x 762 cm; Overall: 57 cm x 76.2 cm
Object type Print
Physical description oil and coloured pencil on paper
Maker Cattapan, Jon
Place made Australia: Victoria, Melbourne
Date made 2008
Conflict East Timor, 1999-2013
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC

This image of a helicopter and soldiers at the H-pod at Dili airport is an amalgam of photographs Cattapan took whilst at Dili Airport on 14 July 2008. The two figures at the right are Rob Nugent (AWM official cinematographer) and Brett Campbell (Army History Unit escort) waiting to board the helicopter for a flight to Gleno.

The image is created by printing photographs, tracing the outline of figures and/or objects depicted in the photographs in oil paint and transferring onto paper. Cattapan has loosely given this method of work the term 'Carbon groups' - as they 'mimic' the method of the redundant carbon copy technology. This transfer process gives a level of removal from the actual events the artist witnessed. They become simplified and stripped back of all extraneous detail. The figures of soldiers have become anonymous and distant. This removal places the image and events at a global level rather than in a local context.

Commissioned by the Australian War Memorial under the official artist program, the Melbourne-based artist Jon Cattapan travelled to East Timor (Timor-Leste) in 2008. From 10-25 July 2008, Cattapan spent time with Australian Defence Force units participating in the peacekeeping missions 'Operation Astute' and 'Operation Tower' in East Timor. After returning to Australia, Cattapan completed a body of work as a response to his experiences which were informed by ideas of the communication/relationships between the Australian peacekeepers and Timorese people, the landscape, and activities of the Australian Defence Force.

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