Australian War Memorial touring exhibition at Riddoch

The Riddoch Arts and Cultural Centre will debut a new exhibition running throughout all three major galleries this February. Opening on Friday 9 February 2024, Art in Conflict is a touring exhibition of contemporary art from the collection of the Australian War Memorial.

The artists’ responses to conflict brings to light to untold stories, reveals neglected histories and deepens our understanding of Australia’s experience of conflict, both past and present through more than 70 paintings, drawings, films, prints, photography and sculptures.

Three major new bodies of work debut in the exhibition including two recent official war art commissions – Susan Norrie (Iraq, 2016) and Megan Cope (Middle East, 2017) and a landmark commemorative work by Angelica Mesiti.

Reflecting on the experience of being an official war artist Megan Cope said she is honoured to have her work at the Australian War Memorial.

“It certainly is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of experience. I never would have expected it, to be honest, so I hope that people like the work, and ask lots of questions, and think about our relationship with the Middle East.”

A showcase of diverse responses to war, the exhibition features leading Australian artists such as Khadim Ali, Rushdi Anwar, eX de Medici, Denise Green, Richard Lewer, Mike Parr and Ben Quilty. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, a collection priority for the Memorial in recent years, is also featured with works by Tony Albert, Paddy Bedford, Robert Campbell Jr, Michael Cook, Shirley Macnamara and Betty Muffler.

Supported by research from an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project, the exhibition highlights how war art can lead us to consider different ways of thinking about current and recent conflicts inviting us to consider perspectives we might not otherwise encounter.

“This is a blockbuster show that we are really excited to be presenting at the Riddoch. I think it is a timely exhibition that offers the chance to see the work of key Australian artists’ reflecting on conflict, and will be of interest to a broad range of visitors,” Riddoch Arts and Cultural Centre Team Leader Exhibitions Collections Chris Clements said.

A formal opening night will be held on Friday 9 February at 6:00pm, with the exhibition on view to the public from Saturday 10 February until Monday 1 April 2024. Senior Curator Anthea Gunn will also deliver a floor talk on Saturday 10 February from 11:00am.

The Riddoch Arts and Cultural Centre is open from 10:00am to 5:00pm weekdays and 10:00am to 2:00pm weekends and most public holidays. Entry is free.

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