Australians and War, The University of Western Australia’s Anzac commemoration, coincides with the centenary of ‘the August Offensive’ at Gallipoli and the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. This rare confluence of dates provides an opportunity to both commemorate and celebrate.
Intellectually and artistically, the Australians and War program explores complex issues relating to war and the Anzac tradition. It incorporates the work of prominent academics, acclaimed national and international artists as well as new and emerging artists and writers, students and alumni.
There are many works in the UWA Art Collection and the Cruthers Collection of Women's Art that reference themes of war, service and the ANZAC story. As part of the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery's ongoing MY COLLECTION project, throughout 2015 three esteemed members of the University community have been invited to write about a selected work that for them evokes the ANZAC spirit.
During the month of August, as part of the Australians and War program, the featured work is George Coates, Disabled Soldier. The commentary for this work has been written by Professor Kim Beazley, Australia's Ambassador to the United States and former Minister for Defence.
Image: George Coates, Disabled Soldier (detail), c 1918, brush and ink on paper on card, 31.5 x 30.0 cm, The University of Western Australia Art Collection, Gift of Mrs M W Moody in memory of Thomas and Henry Ingram Moody, 1949.
The Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery has commissioned four artists to produce video work on the broad theme of the centenary of Gallipoli and ANZAC. The works will be shown on the 24SEVEN screen at the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery during 2015.
The first stage of the project concentrates on close consultation with the commissioned artists on their respective subject. The featured artists during August for the WINTERarts Australians and Way program are Andrew and David Wood.
Image: 24SEVEN featuring Abdul Abdullah’s artwork GOD IS WITH US
The exhibition will feature artefacts used as weapons that contain geological components or derived from minerals or rocks. Of particular note are artefacts from the First World War from the Museum Curator’s personal collection, along with items on loan from other museums, UWA Schools and individuals.
An original sound loop created by Kingsley Reeve (Sound Design and Production, National Institute for Dramatic Art) will compliment the exhibition.
Image: Lt McGlinn, 44th Battalion, later Australian Flying Corp and souvenir embossed World War One British and German 25 pounder shells. Photo: John Reeve (Curator, UWA)
Annette Thas, photographer, filmmaker, mixed media and sculpture/installation artist, has exhibited extensively in Europe and Australia. She studied sculpture at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Lyon, drawing at the Saint-Lucas School of Arts Ghent, and Fine Arts Photography & Filmmaking at UWA. Her ‘Wave 1’ won the People’s Choice Award at Sculpture by the Sea 2014.
Drawing on images and stories encountered while growing up in the Flanders, Thas’ iconic photographs of period gas masks symbolize the horrors experienced in the alien and deformed landscape of the Western Front in WWI. These banner size images will be hung on venues across campus.
Image: Gas masks. Photographs by Annette Thas.
Marking the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, a combined Wind Orchestra from the UWA School of Music and the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts will present works such as Nelson’s haunting Morning Alleluias in a free concert opening the UWAnzac Centenary Commemorations.
Photo by Matthew Galligan.
On 15 August 1945, World War II came to an end when Emperor Hirohito announced to the Japanese people the official surrender of the Japanese military. Australians and War will celebrate this anniversary with a special dinner in the University Club featuring the music of the Swing era performed by The Oz Big Band. Dedicated to recreating the authenticity and high energy of big bands from the 1930s-1950s, The Oz Big Band is popular in jazz and swing scenes around Australia. Guests are encouraged to dress in period costume for a three course meal and night of dancing.
Well-Versed is a collective of experienced performers offering readings of poetry. They have been working together for three years, sharing their passion for poetry by devising and presenting more than twenty specially prepared programs covering the full gamut of subjects, learned to light-hearted, classical and modern, on which verse has been written.
For Australians and War series, they have selected a program of works by Australian and Allied service personnel on the subject of warfare in the trenches and on the Western Front, during the Great War. The readings will be supplemented by choral music performed by The Winthrop Singers.
War and Emotions is the intellectual hub of the Australians and War program. This symposium will explore current research into emotions relating to war, various aspects of World War I and the ANZAC legend, and the experience of Australian soldiers returning from war.
The symposium includes a round table discussion on ‘What the Great War has meant for Australia – then and now’, chaired by Professor Jenny Gregory (UWA). Other participants include Professor Louise D’Arcens (Wollongong University), Dr Megan Cassidy-Welch (Monash), and Professors Mark Edele, Jane Lydon, Andrew Lynch and Bob White (UWA).
The symposium is co-presented by the Centre for the History of Emotions, the Centre for WA History, the History Discipline Group, the UWA Cultural Precinct, the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, and the Institute of Advanced Studies.
Image: John Singer Sargent, Gassed (detail), c.1919. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Professor Joy Damousi is Professor of History and ARC Laureate Fellow at the University of Melbourne. She has published on various aspects of grief, trauma and loss during the two world wars.
In this lecture Professor Damousi considers the ways in which the sounds of the battlefield and home front defined the memory of the war and elicited a range of emotional responses. The relentless sounds pierced the emotions and were associated with distinctive memories of grief, loss, trauma and fear. An analysis of the experience of sound enables a broader, uncharted understanding of the emotional experience of civilians and combatants.
Presented by the Institute of Advanced Studies in conjunction with the War and Emotions Symposium.
Composed while he was prisoner of war and premiered by his fellow prisoners at a Nazi prisoner of war camp in 1941, Messiaen’s magnificent and moving Quartet for the End of Time will be performed by celebrated artists from the UWA School of Music in this special Anzac Centenary commemorative concert.
The program will also feature UWA’s Piñata Percussion who will perform Peaux by Xenakis and Varese’s Ionisation for thirteen percussionists.
Photo by Matthew Galligan.
The University of Western Australia Historical Society was founded to research and promote the history of the Campus and the academics, graduates and students who have been part of the University family since its inception.
Nicholas Hasluck and Ronald Bodycoat have researched and prepared material relevant to the World War I Anzac experiences of University personnel and of the Gallipoli Campaign of 1915. The Forum will include them and other presenters as well in a round- table discussion with the audience to challenge local myths and explore and reveal the true impact of war.
Since 2007, the Winthrop Singers have been a prominent feature on the UWA cultural landscape. Formed by Dr Nicholas Bannan of the School of Music, they are choir in residence at St George’s College Chapel, performing Evensong every Thursday.
The Choir’s milestones include: singing from Winthrop Tower at dawn on the first day of spring, public workshops with The Song Company, concerts at New Norcia sponsored by the Spanish Embassy, the debut recording of Philip Gearing’s Prop Patria Mori, touring to China, and participating in Verdi’s Requiem for Western Australian Symphony Orchestra.
For UWAugust: Australians and War, the Winthrop Singers will present a specially Anzac-themed Evensong.
In this special free event recognising the 100th Anniversary ANZAC commemorations, the School of Music, in collaboration with the UWA Choral Society and Churchlands Senior High School, present Britten’s epic War Requiem, featuring internationally-renowned soloists Sara Macliver and Andrew Foote.
Rarely performed, the War Requiem, which features the poetry of soldier Wilfred Owen, employs multiple musical forces: a 100 piece orchestra, a second chamber orchestra, over 125 adult voices, a children’s choir, and three solo voices that alternate and interact with each other throughout the piece in a polyphony of sound. This is a concert not to be missed!