Anzac exhibition Sappers and Shrapnel to celebrate trench art of war at Art Gallery of SA

SOME of Australia’s leading contemporary artists will create new works inspired by the trench art of World War One soldiers for a new exhibition to open at the Art Gallery of SA on Remembrance Day.

SOME of Australia’s leading contemporary artists will create new works inspired by the “trench art’’ of World War One soldiers for a new exhibition to open at the Art Gallery of SA on Remembrance Day.

Sappers and Shrapnel will feature pieces by artists including Adelaide’s Fiona Hall, Archibald Prize winner Ben Quilty and the Tjanpi Desert Weavers alongside objects crafted by soldiers, civilians and prisoner from the waste materials of warfare.

Quilty, Hall and two women from the Central Desert weavers group, Mary Pan and Rene Kulitja, visited the Australian War Memorial in Canberra on Friday as part of their research for the project.

“Rather than just doing an exhibition of historic trench art, we’re putting those in conversation with artists who are responding to the contemporary trenches,’’ said exhibition curator Lisa Slade.

Hall, who also uses found materials and represented Australia at last year’s Venice Biennale, will show her work All The King’s Men as well as create new pieces with the Tjanpi Desert Weavers.

“I thought that they would have a very interesting view of what trench art could mean for them; trench warfare and conflict,’’ she said.

Quilty, who previously worked as an official war artist in Afghanistan, will create his installation with a Syrian refugee woman who is making traditional wedding dresses that she hopes her baby daughter will one day get to wear in her homeland.

“It’s probably the first time that I’ve really involved a feminine side to my work,’’ Quilty said.

“I want her dresses to be floating in the space … so that it’s almost a defiant act against ISIS (Islamic State) for her.’’

Sappers and Shrapnel was funded through the Anzac of Centenary Foundation and will run at the Art Gallery of SA from November 11 to January 29.

Originally published in The Advertiser, April 26, 2016.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.