Located on the Upper Level
The use of camouflage in warfare saves lives. During the Second World War the Department of Home Security led a campaign to education Australian troops in its importance and military use.
Headed by Professor William Dakin, a zoologist from Sydney University, the Camouflage Unit employed local artists and photographers to develop the military’s approach to camouflage.
Crucial to the department’s success was the work of Australian artist Frank Hinder, whose previously unseen camouflage photographs were donated to the Memorial in 1988. These images documented Hinder’s experiments in developing camouflage suitable for the Australian environment. Using colour, shade, and shape, he helped create designs that could be applied to conceal trucks, helmets, and uniforms. He also educated the troops on the importance of understanding and working within their natural environments.
The Deceving Eye also draws connections between Hinder’s camouflage studies and the work of modern Australian official war artist, eX de Medici, who as a child attended drawing classes run by Hinder and his wife, Margel. De Medici’s Cure for pain is a multi-layered work reflecting on our common mortality and equality in death, a century of conflict which Australia has been involved, and a commemoration of the fallen on all sides.
The work also displays the military’s changing approaches to camouflage from the colonial wars to the war in Afghanistan. As materials and technologies have advanced, the reliance on the basic camouflage techniques seen in Hinder’s photographs has remained.
Free. Located in the Mezzanine Gallery, Anzac Hall.