It’s a wrap AWM2018 001

Accession Number AWM2018.580.1
Collection type Art
Measurement Overall: 288.6 x 87.6 cm
Object type Poster
Physical description stencil
Maker Murray, Wendy
Place made Australia: New South Wales, Sydney
Date made 2018
Conflict Period 2010-2019

Item copyright: AWM Licensed copyright


Wendy Murray was one of three contemporary artists commissioned to creatively explore and celebrate the Memorial’s poster collection, via the creation of new work, to engage visitors and present fresh perspectives on its unique aesthetic, formal and historical functions and the histories of propaganda posters.

Murray, who worked as an urban street poster artist between 2003-2012, was drawn to the unique aesthetic and collaborative production process of the Memorial's 13 rare stencilled propaganda posters produced by the Telegraphic Agency of the Soviet Union (TASS) during the Second World War.

Established in 1925, the Telegraphic Agency of the Soviet Union (TASS) was the country’s official state news agency. In June 1941, following the invasion of the Soviet Union by Germany, a group of artists and writers in Moscow set up a studio under the TASS for the production of propaganda. For the next four years the TASS studio operated as a “poster factory”, with hundreds of artists working around the clock to create large, hand-stencilled propaganda posters known as OKNO TASS (the windows of TASS). Displayed in shop windows and distributed via subscription across the Soviet Union, TASS posters were also sent to Allied countries, including Australia.

While the TASS propaganda artists worked to galvanise support for the war and government policies Murray set out to make an anti-war poster that speaks to today's increasing political and global tensions 'Ever since I was a teenager in the 1980s, the fear of WWIII has plagued me. The tensions politically and globally right now feel they have a similar climate to the Regan / Thatcher era – the threat of nuclear war, South China Sea, Trade relations between China, USA and Russia. Through all of this Australia appears to be wrapping themselves up in the protection and support of these three superpowers. My poster questions these alliances and reflects on the complex nature of international relations.' Wendy Murray, 2018

For this poster Murray cut 22 stencil sheets each 76 x 102 cm. To economise on paper, stencil painting time and allow for efficient registration of each layer, each stencil sheet had up to 4 colours on it. Each colour was mixed and brushed onto the newsprint through the stencils. Embracing the collaborative spirit of the TASS studio Murray worked with Sydney based typographer, Kristian Molloy and printer Matt Tilbury to design the type. Artist Brenda Tye assisted with painting of the stencills.