An incident at Romani: In memory of the Light Horse Field Ambulance, Brisbane

During the First World War, George W. Lambert (1873-1930) served Australia as an Official War Artist attached to the ANZAC Mounted Division. He spent two terms in service, the first with the Light Horse in Palestine, and the second in Gallipoli and Egypt before his military contract discharge, when he was commissioned to paint an…

‘Two soldiers’ emphasises wartime comradery

Australian artist Hilda Rix Nicholas (1884-1961) made a significant contribution to art in the period between the First and Second World Wars, fusing a nationalist sentiment with her technical insights into French impressionism and post-impressionism. Born in Ballarat in 1884, from 1902-05 Hilda Rix studied at the Melbourne National Gallery School under Frederick McCubbin. Arthur…

‘The bomber’ captures the athleticism and bravery of a WWI soldier

Based on drawings made in the field, Web Gilbert’s (1867-1925) The bomber c.1915-21 depicts a First World War figure of a grenade-throwing soldier. The swinging leverage of the soldier’s outstretched arms practically rotates above the power and stability of his climbing stride. With this strong and balanced stance, Gilbert at once captures the athleticism and…

‘Skullcap’ honours Aboriginal servicemen

Shirley Macnamara lives outside Mt Isa in central Queensland where she runs a thriving cattle property with her son, and is also immersed in her family’s cultural and political research. In 2013 Macnamara began to make skullcaps, reminiscent of a customary funerary practice for some Aboriginal women where their heads were plastered with white clay…

Ben Quilty’s ‘Sergeant P, after Afghanistan’ captures the sitter’s raw physicality

In October 2011, Ben Quilty toured with Australian troops as an official war artist for the Australian War Memorial, part of its scheme to document the experiences of Australians deployed to the frontline in Afghanistan. Quilty’s Sergeant P, after Afghanistan 2012 is a brave attempt to capture the intensity of experience felt by soldiers involved…