Abo­rig­i­nal An­zac sto­ries flow­er­ing at ex­hi­bi­tion

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Arts -

AN art ex­hi­bi­tion high­light­ing un­told sto­ries of WA Abo­rig­i­nal World War I ser­vice­men will open at Edith Cowan Univer­sity last week.

They Served with Hon­our: An Ex­hi­bi­tion marks this year’s An­zac Cen­te­nary 2015–2018 com­mem­o­ra­tions.

It also recog­nises the 2016 Na­tional Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion Week mes­sage of ‘ Our His­tory, Our Story, Our Future’.

The ex­hi­bi­tion is a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween ECU and the Depart­ment of Abo­rig­i­nal Af­fairs and draws upon the book They Served With Hon­our: Un­told Sto­ries of WA Ser­vice­men at Gal­lipoli.

“The book brings to light the un­known sto­ries of 13 WA Abo­rig­i­nal ser­vice­men who served at Gal­lipoli,” ECU art col­lec­tion cu­ra­tor Sue Star­cken said.

“Within the ex­hi­bi­tion pho­to­graphs of these sol­diers and au­dio from some of the fam­ily in­ter­views will be set along­side works from the ECU art col­lec­tion, in­clud­ing work from Ny­oon­gar artists Peter Farmer, Troy Ben­nell and Ben Push­man.”

Farmer said he felt honoured and priv­i­leged when asked to paint a piece for this ex­hi­bi­tion.

“I am a proud de­scen­dant of Ken­neth Farmer who served in the First and Sec­ond World Wars for Aus­tralia,” he said.

“His broth­ers Larry, Lewis and Au­gus­tus Pegg served in both wars as well; and his sis­ters served in the women’s aux­il­iary armed forces also.”

Farmer said his art­work was sym­bolic of the 13 Abo­rig­i­nal sol­diers fea­tured in the book.

“They are sig­ni­fied with the 13 pop­pies,” he said. “The lines rep­re­sent the many roads and paths they trav­elled; and in the mid­dle are hills and fields where the pop­pies ap­peared.

“The fig­ure in the mid­dle is the un­known Abo­rig­i­nal sol­dier (Eter­nal Flame), who had no name un­til this cen­tury.”

They Served with Hon­our: An Ex­hi­bi­tion is at ECU Joon­dalup un­til June 22. Open­ing hours are 10am to 4pm from Mon­day to Fri­day.

Ny­oon­gar artist Peter Farmer with his paint­ing commissioned for They Served with Hon­our: An Ex­hi­bi­tion.

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