Gallipoli Centenary Art Commission unveiled

AWM David Jolly Procession 2016A series of seven works created by Australian artist David Jolly portraying the Anzac Day centenary Dawn Service on Gallipoli have been unveiled at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

Australian War Memorial Director Dr Brendan Nelson expressed his pride that Memorial visitors would now be able to view the commissioned works.

“The paintings from the Gallipoli Centenary Art Commission capture the pride and commitment of the many thousands of everyday Australians and New Zealanders who made the pilgrimage to the centenary Dawn Service on Gallipoli,” said Dr Nelson. “They are a powerfully poignant record of the importance of that Dawn Service to our nation.”

Jolly spent a week on Gallipoli, walking the battlefields and visiting the graves of Commonwealth, Turkish and French forces. He also used photographs, drawings, film, and sound recordings to capture his experiences, choosing the stronger images to stitch a timeline beginning on the night before the ceremony and ending with the events that took place after the service.

“I wanted to give a sense not only of the ceremony but what would remain in your memory of the event – the stars, a flag at half-mast, the portraits within a crowd of people, many with a link back to the events on Gallipoli a century ago,” said Jolly.

The seven reverse-painted glass works vividly reflect the mood and experiences of those on the peninsula – from the crowd’s sense of excitement and anticipation on the eve of the ceremony to their quiet reflection at dawn.

The Gallipoli Centenary Art Commission continues the Memorial’s longstanding program of acquisitions and commissions of significant Australian artists, and will join other works of art in the Memorial’s collection that remind us of the importance of commemorating the service and sacrifice of Australian servicemen and servicewomen.

These works are now on display in the Memorial’s Captain Reg Saunders Gallery. For more information, visit: www.awm.gov.au for details.

Image: David Jolly, Procession, 2016, oil on glass, 50 x 76 cm – courtesy of the Australian War Memorial

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