The house that Jack built

Place Oceania: Australia, Victoria
Accession Number ART94532
Collection type Art
Measurement sheet: 57 x 38 cm
Object type Work on paper
Physical description watercolour
Maker Stanuga, Alexander
Place made Australia: New South Wales, Sydney
Date made 2009
Conflict Period 2000-2009

Item copyright: AWM Licensed copyright


During the bush fire crisis in Victoria in 2009 the Australian Defence Force (ADF) established a Joint Task Force (JTF) 662 under the command of Brigadier Michael Arnold, the commander of the Army's 4 th Brigade. It included full-time and reserve ADF members. The ADF's total contribution between February - March 2012 was 600 personnel. The artist, Alexander Stanuga, is a reservist with the ADF and was a member of JTF 662. Along with other reservists (from NSW, SA and WA) he assisted the Victorian Police to conduct a methodical and detailed examination of fire-affected building sites in Kinglake, Marysville, Narbethong and Buxton. Deployed in 12 teams of 6 led by a Victorian police officer the reservists helped to ensure that all reasonable efforts had been made to determine that each fire-affected site was cleared of human remains.

Stanuga's series of small watercolours depict members of these search teams, in white forensic suits, at work in the devastated landscape and impressions of the charred landscape and the road from his army transport. In this work a figure in white forensic suit is pointing to a sign nailed to a telegraph pole warning that asbestos is on site.