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Recast the victims and villains, Replay the scene, and Rebuild the stage


MacDonald, A, Recast the victims and villains, Replay the scene, and Rebuild the stage, Landscape and Memory: A nation imagined, Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery, Toowoomba, Qld, pp. 3 (2018) [Minor Creative Work]

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In early August 2018 the Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery (TRAG) in Queensland opened a group exhibition titled Landscape and Memory. Eight artists working or studying in the university sector responded in various media to Frank Hurley’s iconic images taken on the Western Front and in the Middle East in 1917 and 1918. Though the exhibition took its place amidst a plethora of First World War centenary commemorative activities, in fact from its very inception, the exhibition sought to explore the place of landscape in the Australian cultural imagination. The war, as Samuel Hynes posited, was the major political and military event of the age, but it was also the "great imaginative event", one which "altered the ways in which men and women thought not only about war but about the world, and about culture and its expressions". To make sense of a conflict that by 1918 had left Australia a broken nation required an imagining of the war on the part of her soldiers and citizens that drew on familiar tropes, the most pervasive of which was the belief that the Australian people share a special relationship with the land. In this construct, battlefields became physical and imaginary spaces which were, like the Australian Outback, new lands to be claimed. Hurley’s photographs are an appropriate starting point for a reimagining of the battlefields of 1917 and 1918 and an exploration of this special relationship.

Item Details

Item Type:Minor Creative Work
Keywords:landscape, Hurley, First World War, Ypres, Western Front, representation of war
Research Division:Creative Arts and Writing
Research Group:Art history, theory and criticism
Research Field:Visual cultures
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Arts
Objective Field:The creative arts
UTAS Author:MacDonald, A (Dr Abbey MacDonald)
ID Code:129864
Year Published:2018
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2018-12-20
Last Modified:2018-12-20

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