Two minutes silence

Place Oceania: Australia, New South Wales
Accession Number ART40886
Collection type Art
Measurement Overall: 122 x 304.5 cm
Object type Painting
Physical description oil on canvas
Maker Hawkins, Weaver
Place made Australia: New South Wales, Sydney, Mona Vale
Date made 1953
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC

This symbolic and autobiographical work depicts separate aspects of Remembrance Day and the images conjured up on this occasion by the ex-soldier artist, including l-r: a woman observing a Remembrance Day march in front of a cenotaph, a group of soldiers with heads bowed silently standing around a gun; the gun, with outstretched mechanical claws, becomes an anthropomorphic creature, extending across the bleak landscape; the skeletal hand in the foreground is a reminder of Hawkins' loss of the use of his right hand; in the centre the ghoul-like figures of a dead family rise from an open coffin; the background is dominated by images of a skull, barbed wire and a landscape filled with tombstones; at right workmen and a family group observe the two minutes silence traditionally kept on Remembrance Day. Remembrance Day is also known as Armistice Day, the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice between the Allied nations and Germany at 11am on 11 November 1918 that effectively ended the First World War.