The 2013 Gallipoli Art Prize
Published: Thu 9 May 2013
The Memorial is pleased to announce that visitors to the Australian War Memorial will have the opportunity to view the finalists’ works of art of the 2013 Gallipoli Art Prize competition.
The display will include this year’s prize-winning piece, Peter Wegner’s Dog with gas mask, and runner-up Garry Dolan’s highly commended work, Quick mum, over here …
The Gallipoli Art Prize competition is administered by the Gallipoli Memorial Club Limited. This annual competition is open to artists born in Australia, New Zealand or Turkey. The works are judged on the ability of the artist to depict the spirit of Gallipoli and the virtues of mateship, love of country, respect and comradeship, which were personified by the heroes of that campaign.
Memorial Director Dr Brendan Nelson believes that it is “reassuring that the ANZAC spirit is still being explored through contemporary works of art and the Australian War Memorial is pleased to have the Gallipoli Art Prize on display”.
Peter Wegner believes that there is not enough recognition of the contributions of animals in Australia’s wartime history. “I want visitors who see my work to leave with a better understanding of the significant and varied roles of canines, from the First World War, where mustard gas was introduced, to present-day conflicts,” said Mr Wegner. Dog with gas mask represents the characteristics of man’s best friends, as well as the qualities of the men and women who have served in war. “It is a metaphor for the human traits which are brought out in conflict: trust, loyalty, companionship and devotion.”
Garry Dolan’s work of art, Quick mum, over here …, illustrates the moment his daughter Alex found an ancestor’s grave at Villers-Bretonneux. “Like tens of thousands of Australians who have visited the graves of the fallen overseas, our visit to Villers-Bretonneux was a very moving experience. I created this work of art, which depicts my daughter looking for the name of a lost relative, Private Harold Prosser, to portray what it is like to walk this sacred ground and pay respects to a family and a lost generation,” said Mr Dolan. “The galleries of the Australian War Memorial exhibit the works of art of many of Australia’s greatest artists. As an emerging artist, a follower of our history, and an admirer of what the Australian War Memorial represents, I regard having a work that is so important to me displayed within the Memorial is a great honour,” said Mr Dolan.
“The moving portrayals of our past, exhibited in these works, emphasise the important role art plays in the interpretation of the Australian experience of war. It is encouraging to see our history is still relevant to today’s artists,” said Dr Nelson. The works will be on display in the Memorial’s Orientation Gallery until 2 June 2013.
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