Tour of beauty, labour of Love

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Weekly Life -

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.

Pic­ture: Mar­cus Whisson www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d436272

Vol­un­teer guide Noreen Jones. For the For Love of Coun­try tour sched­ule, visit www.art­gallery.wa.gov.au.

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