Tour of beauty, labour of Love
Her latest preparations have been for powerful exhibition For Love of Country, featuring historical pieces from World War I and II alongside contemporary works reflecting on wider issues and conflicts.
The exhibition is a significant one for Jones, whose Northam-born and raised father, Aubrey Septimus Chidlow, enlisted on September 9, 1914 and sailed on one of only two ships, the HMAT Ascanius, from Fremantle on October 31, 1914, bound for Egypt and then on to Gallipoli.
“He was on the landing barges on April 25, was wounded quite seriously and taken on a hospital ship to Heliopolis near Alexandria,” Jones said.
“Then it was on to England and when he was fit enough to get back into the war, he went to the Western Front, where he was severely wounded again in April 1918 and went back to England in July.
“His right leg had to be amputated because of severe infection. He hung on for a long time and thinking back through my nursing experience, I just realise how hard it must have been, not just for him but all the soldiers.”
Chidlow returned to Fremantle in November 1919, married and had three children, with Jones the youngest.
“He was the most patient man ever and just amazing, with a wonderful personality, who didn’t dwell on his injury and got on with life,” Jones said.
Growing up in Northam during World War II while it was an army camp means Jones has memories from then too.
“I wouldn’t say this exhibition has been harder or easier, I just relate to it and I feel very in awe of our military and what they did in any war,” Jones said.
“My favourite piece is Oneoftheoldplatoon by artist Will Dyson.
“It has a digger who is in battle clothes in World War I and is looking at the grave of perhaps a friend. I think that is arresting to look at.”
Jones will honour her father with a public tour of For Love of Country at 1pm on Sunday, April 26, followed by further tours for the duration of the free exhibition showing until July 20.
Volunteer guide Noreen Jones. For the For Love of Country tour schedule, visit www.artgallery.wa.gov.au.