Archibald win­ner ex­hibit

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

CAIRNS Re­gional Gallery is show­cas­ing the lat­est ex­hi­bi­tion from 2011 Archibald Prize win­ner and Aus­tralia’s of­fi­cial war artist in Afghanistan, Ben Quilty.

Af­ter spend­ing more than three weeks talk­ing to Aus­tralian ser­vice­men and women in Afghanistan, Quilty felt an over­whelm­ing need to tell their sto­ries.

He went there in Oc­to­ber 2011 as an of­fi­cial war artist, com­mis­sioned by the Aus­tralian War Me­mo­rial and at­tached to the Aus­tralian De­fence Force.

His task was to record and in­ter­pret the ex­pe­ri­ences of Aus­tralians de­ployed as part of Op­er­a­tion Slip­per in Kabul, Kan­da­har, and Tarin Kot in Afghanistan and at Al Min­had Air­base in the United Arab Emi­rates.

For his of­fi­cial war artist com­mis­sion, Quilty has cre­ated large-scale por­traits that fo­cus on the in­tense phys­i­cal­ity of th­ese soldiers and on the emo­tional and psy­cho­log­i­cal con­se­quences of their ser­vice.

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