Well it seems that me, The Gallipoli Artist will take part in the prestigious Australian artist’s competition The Gallipoli Art Prize. 40 finalists will be selected by the judges. The artist’s work will be exhibited in the Gallipoli Memorial Club in Sydney between the 10th and 28th of April. The judges will then choose from these forty pieces of art and the winner will be expected to be in Sydney in May for the $20,000 first prize.
Through lots of support and opinions on several of my pieces we, and I mean WE, because I feel this has become a group effort have decided on my Hidden French Gun of Cape Helles as my entry.
Looking over the previous winners I’ve noticed something unique in my art. Most of the entries are from artists and art students who have never visited the battlefield. Artists who copy century old photographs and postcards. I feel that my art is ‘documentary’, it shows the everhanging landscape of Gallipoli. The battle may have been fought 102 years ago but the war is still raging between the tragedy of the battlefield and Mother Nature’s effort to reclaim the wonderful landscape. Mother Nature is winning the war!
Included with my piece is a description of the piece which I feel brings a story to this ongoing campaign……
“The Hidden French Guns of Cape Helles
Just a few years ago a farmer was clearing his land across the road from the Cape Helles Memorial. To his surprise and that of the local authorities he uncovered a long lost French gun emplacement. He cleared the old gun pits and it became a source of fascination for historians bringing people to the spot.
But that wasn’t the end of the story. Later on the farmer uncovered two more guns and last year he finally cleared them of the blackberry bushes that had kept them hidden.
I chose one of the later discoveries. This gun lay in a shady pit surrounded by grasses and flowers and a shady tree. The moment I saw it I could imagine the French ‘Artilleurs’, with their colourful blue and red pom pom hats, resting in the shade of the tree and smoking their ‘megot’ cigarettes waiting for their orders for the next salvo across the Dardanelles to the Turkish guns on the Asiatic shore.
I’ve wandered the Gallipoli battlefield for thirty years and know every trench, gully and ridge. My art is my legacy of this place, where nature is winning the war.
So if you happen to be anywhere near Circular Quay in April please ccome along and laud over my creation.
Thank you to all involved… THIS IS FOR ALL OF YOU!
Roachie The Gallipoli Artist