At dawn each April 25th 1916 Australians gather at the Eternal Flame as Cenotaphs across the country. They gather to honour the legend of the ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) landing at Gallipoli, Turkey, where many Australians and New Zealanders lost their lives fighting for the British Empire, far from home. They gather to remember all service men and women.
Senior Australian School of the Arts (ASTA) students have responded to the topic of First World War as part of the WW1 Trench Art project supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund. The students work is reflective and considered, presenting a 2014 perspective on war, loss and remembrance.
Sabrina has hand drawn images of soldiers juxtaposed with hand written correspondence and symbolic memorial flowers such as poppies, rosemary and forget-me-nots onto notepaper sized pieces of paper to represent the importance personal correspondence held during World War 1, when letters could take months to arrive and the news contained within perhaps far out date, the only link between the war front and the home front, apart from dreaded telegrams.
Mason’s art mail works (which he has entitled Tattoo Flash #1) incorporate contemporary tattoo style drawings indicating different streams of military service including nurses, navy, army and airforce. Air combat was first introduced as a military strategy in World War 1 and changed the strategies and outcomes of war. Tattoo’s, which are now an endemic lifestyle choice, were more identifiable with serving and seafaring men in the western society of WW1 era.
Jarrod’s work focuses on statistics indicating the numbers of Australian soldiers killwed and wounded in WW1. Jarrod used various mediums (gouache, pen, ink, enamels paint) and techniques (stenciling, collage, lino cut, spray painting, hand painting) to create his mail art contribution.
Grace’s mail art portrays the internal chaos and turmoil within the mind of a person with first hand experience of war. Sharp clinical lines slashed through the hot, stripped colours are backed by crisp white paper and represent calm memories trying to break through the state of mental turmoil.
Elysha incorporated imagery representing what have become iconic Australian symbols of WW1: the music score from the last post, images of poppies and has introduced an element which is representative of the sentimentality which surrounds the tradition of ANZAC day commemorations with a papercut border.
Elysha’s second mail art submission contains imagery representing different perspectives of the war experience, indicating that the experience of and the inherent casualties of World War 1 is not a one sided affair.
Damien has utilised spliced, collaged contemporary photos of aged ex-service men onto hand painted images of skeletons dressed in WW1 military uniforms. These portrayals are based upon the life or death decisions these men and their colleagues faced during their time in service. The image also demonstrate the psychological resemblance of these men in their lives today, influenced by these moments in time.
Connor’s mail art is indicative of the chaos prevalent at the beginning of the twentieth century with the onset of WW1 and the resultant insurrection across the globe. Images of historical figures mix with contemporary as Connor aims to compare this earlier time with the current state of flux in the world.
Bronwyn has photo-shopped portraits of contemporary monster imagery (including Darth Vader, The Joker and Frankenstein) onto propaganda military enlistment posters from World War 1. The patriotic Red, White and Blue colours contained within each of the flags of allies America, UK and Australia hint at the maelstrom of patriotic fervor used to stir citizens to enlist during WW1.