Vietnamese pieta

Place Asia: Vietnam
Accession Number ART94222
Collection type Art
Measurement Overall: 20 x 20 cm x 35 cm
Object type Sculpture
Physical description terracotta
Maker Frith, John
Place made Australia: Victoria, Melbourne
Date made 1972
Conflict Vietnam, 1962-1975

Item copyright: AWM Licensed copyright


Very few Australian artists made any major statements through their art about the Vietnam war and there were few public exhibitions that dealt with it. Most artistic activity took the form of poster-making for the protest movement. Television, magazine and newspaper pictures provided the major source of visual imagery during the Vietnam war. John Frith had seen many of the images and was strongly affected by Nick Ut's photograph of the napalm-burnt girl running down a highway. The sculpture "Vietnamese pieta" was his response to this image. It depicts a mother holding her dead child, after being burnt by napalm, in a pieta pose looking upwards to the planes delivering napalm bombs.

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