Australian War Memorial's Reality in Flames exhibition opens in Tamworth this weekend

Friday 25 September, 2020

Visitors to the Tamworth Regional Gallery will have the opportunity to view the compelling Australian War Memorial touring exhibition Reality in flames: modern Australian art and the Second World War.

The first Memorial exhibition dedicated exclusively to exploring the responses of Australian modernist artists to the Second World War, Reality in flames opens on Saturday 26 September 2020 at Tamworth Regional Gallery.

The exhibition consists of 89 works of art drawn from the Memorial’s collection, and forms one of the most diverse and comprehensive accounts of Second World War Australian modern art. It features works from renowned artists such as Stella Bowen, Russell Drysdale, Sidney Nolan, and Albert Tucker.

Many of these pieces were created through the official war art scheme, in which artists were commissioned to record the experiences of Australians serving overseas, or of wartime activity on the home front. This tradition began during the First World War and continues today.

Director of the Australian War Memorial Mr Matthew Anderson said these artists enabled today’s Australians to gain a clearer and deeper perspective on the Second World War experience.

“This was an incredibly important period in Australia’s history; it was a time of anxiety and great change. These works present a revealing and often original engagement with this war,” said Mr Anderson.

The Memorial has built on its collection of works from this period through an active program of acquisitions and donations, and now holds one of the most diverse and comprehensive accounts of Australian military, social, and art history.

“Reality in flames reveals how Australia’s artistic and literary culture was transformed by the war. Artists were inspired to create modern and innovative visual forms to interpret the experience of combat, the powerfully destructive machinery of war, and the vast social upheaval produced by global conflict,” said Tamworth Regional Gallery Director, Bridget Guthrie.

For more information visit the Australian War Memorial’s website.



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