Poignant picture of life after Afghanistan

Artist Ben Quilty with Trooper M, After Afghanistan, painted in Robertson, New South Wales, 2012, oil on linen, 140 x 190 cm, collection of the artist OL00628.011
Artist Ben Quilty with Trooper M, After Afghanistan, painted in Robertson, New South Wales, 2012, oil on linen, 140 x 190 cm, collection of the artist OL00628.011

Great art needs few words to accompany it. And so it is with Ben Quilty’s After Afghanistan exhibition at Flinders University’s City Gallery.

With big, bold layers of paint applied with a palette knife, the Archibald Prize winner and 2011 official war artist sends a profound message to the parents and loved ones of veterans, serving soldiers, government policy makers, and to all who have tried to make sense of war and the impact it has on people’s lives.

The exhibition, curated by Laura Webster from the Australian War Memorial, runs until November 30 at Flinders Art Museum and City Gallery, located within the State Library.

 

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2 thoughts on “Poignant picture of life after Afghanistan

  1. Australia now has a large Afghani community, who came here as refugees. Like most refugees, they try to get on with their lives, and put the past behind them.

    The article above, features the Afghan war. Many of the refugee community were deeply affected by those events. Many lost relatives; some were injured; all were forced out of their homes, and can no longer return to them. These are not things, people appreciate being reminded of. Some, when reminded, get extremely upsest. Yet for the past few days, Flinders home page has reminded them of this…

    …perhaps a little insensitive? Especially when the Uni home page is seen by year 12 students, looking for somewhere to study, in 2015.

  2. There seems an element of political correctness in this statement. Why should the community be sheltered from the realities of life. Is this a feature of the immediacy of current communications ?
    Whereas in the past, (in the case of the British Empire) revolt in a distant land was reported 3 to 6 months later and by the time the response arrived (probably a year later) the revolt had been forgotten or suppressed. Because of these time delays, there was a distancing of reality. In modern society, it happens today, it’s on the TV news tonight if the political and social filters allow it.
    Where is the insensitivity in reality ? The more people are sheltered, the more traumatic the experience of reality becomes when it is personally encountered.
    If year 12 students are treated as adults, why deprive them of the experience or at least the information of what happens in other societies – isn’t that part of the education process ?

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