Country Town Anzac-ery (gravitas vs levitas) – 2015


Oil on canvas 83.5 x 61.5cm

Patriotic Jingoism in Australia reached its apotheosis at the centenary of the invasion of Turkey at Gallipoli in April of 2015.

In Orange NSW as elsewhere new memorials were commissioned. Just prior to the unveiling of the new, old fashioned life-sized bronze martial figures were in place all wrapped up ready to be unfurled by local “identities”. That pre-unfurling moment was enchanting in its Christo-like appearance and cried out for a re-evaluation of the significant apportioning of Anzac commemoration vs celebration .

I have purposely floated the base of the bronze warrior to the top of the picture plane to suggest an alternative view of the gravitas vs levitas inherent in the moment. Of note here is the attention to the detail of the plastic wrapping with its restraining black tape. And peeking out from below the cheap grey wrapping plastic are a pair of identifiable well polished military boot caps. To enhance the nationalistic religiosity of the nostalgic death cult occasioned the area to be appropriately cordoned off, but in my rendering the chain is made of Lego-type multi coloured (plastic?) chain links. Its boys and their toys again back in the sand pit!

Read more about Anzacery and commemoration vs celebration at the following links:

Anzac installation by V Gordon

If pigs could