Tracing letters sent from the front line through the War Office to back home, Facing World War One: Stories of loyalty, loss and love captures the poignant voices of the family and loved ones of enlisted soldiers. This new exhibition is currently on display at the Museum of Brisbane until 28 August 2016.
On average, more than 1,000 letters a day were received by Australian Imperial Force Base Records in Melbourne from family and friends left behind in Australia seeking word of their loved ones. From the touching account of a hopeful mother in search for news of her missing son, to a wife’s plea to have her husband return home, discover first-hand the real relationships shaken by the trials of war.
Combined with compelling accounts from Brisbane poets and performers who served in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF), these deeply moving stories unfold in a filmic and multi-sensory journey, exploring the human impact of the war that changed the world irrevocably, alongside studio portraits of nurses and soldiers in uniform and a showcase of original objects such as letters, postcards and journals.
Commissioned by Museum of Brisbane, the filmic presentation by Facing Australia (Karen Donnelly, Tony Nott and Raimond de Weerdt) explores the impact of war on those who enlisted and those who awaited their return. In a stunning finale, portraits of 50 soldiers and 50 nurses were superimposed to create the ‘Face of the AIF’ and the ‘Face of the Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS)’.
“Facing World War One: Stories of loyalty, loss and love shows the power of the written word,” said Peter Denham, Director Museum of Brisbane. “The First World War had an enduring legacy and the letters from Base Records were a stark reminder of its effects.”
“Base Records was the only line of communication loved ones had to those on active service and we have also chosen to tell the stories of two Brisbane men who used poetry to express their experiences of war. The correspondence shows that as the war lingered there was an emotional shift from loyalty to Australia, to dealing with considerable loss and ultimately to the endurance of love.”
Marking the 100th anniversary of the first Anzac Day Parade in Brisbane, encounter loyalty to country and family, unimaginable loss, and the endurance of love in Facing World War One: Stories of loyalty, loss and love.
Facing World War One: Stories of loyalty, loss and love
Museum of Brisbane, King George Square, Brisbane
Exhibition continues to 28 August 2016
For more information, visit: www.museumofbrisbane.com.au for details.
Image: Production still from Facing World War One: Stories of loyalty, loss and love film – courtesy of Facing Australia and Museum of Brisbane