Huts, Stalag Luft III, Germany

Place Europe: Germany
Accession Number ART28571
Collection type Art
Measurement Overall: 12.3 x 15.8 cm (irreg)
Object type Drawing
Physical description black and white crayon on dark blue paper
Maker Taylor, Howard
Place made Germany
Date made c. 1943
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Item copyright: AWM Licensed copyright


A view of huts and fences at Stalag Luft III after rain and with sun breaking through clouds. Taylor set himself the task of describing atmospheric effects - in this case, the sky with rays of light and clouds, plus the reflection in the pool of water on the ground. Stalag Luft III, Sagan (Zagan), is located in present-day Poland, but it is accurate to refer to Sagan, Germany, for the time this work was made it was considered to be a part of Germany during the war.Howard Taylor was born in Hamilton, Victoria on 29 August 1918.
Taylor is recognised as one of Australia's most significant modernist artists - working across various media and a highly competent draftsman, painter and sculptor. Howard Taylor was interned as a prisoner of war from 19 May 1940 until the end of the war in prisoner of war camps: Dulag Luft Oberwesel, Oflag IXA Sprangenberg, Oflag VIB Warburg and Stalag Luft III Sagan (Germany) and Stalag XXA Thorn and Oflag XXIB Schubin (Poland). During this period he took up drawing to help pass the time. The Red Cross provided basic art supplies and among those interned there were several men with art school training who were able to offer advice- Taylor met Guy Grey-Smith, another Western Australian artist, while in a POW camp. Taylor used his time well, acknowledging the scope of skills required to successfully tackle pictorial representation. WWII Prison Camp, Stalag Luft III, Sagen, Germany is a study of the camp environment at Stalag Luft III in watercolour, and it explores light to reveal form. He studied part-time on a RAAF rehabilitation grant at the Birmingham College of Art in England from 1946 - 1948. He returned to Perth, Western Australia in the following year, and held his first solo exhibition. He taught painting at Perth Technical College and then drawing and sculpture at the Western Australian Institute of Technology.