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“Forever Young” at BRAG. Photo credit: Erin Hawkins.

Dropped in to the Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery (BRAG) today, and my painting “Forever Young” was up on the wall, didactic and all. Only delivered it to them late last week, so was great to see it up so soon, thanks to Trudie Leigo (Exhibitions Officer). Also was grabbed by Jeremy Staples for a “social media” mug shot, taken by new media officer Erin Hawkins as well as this shot with my own compact camera for my Blog. Thanks folks! At a different firm, Erin also designed my brilliant art business card many years ago, which I still use. The painting will be there as BRAG’s “Artist of the Month,” during December. Sweet. I have included some various shots of the chameleon-skinned BRAG gallery building from various angles.


“I respect the ANZAC story, and the men and women who died under such terrible circumstances. But also I acknowledge the suffering of people on the other side – those who were once our enemies. I appreciate the honouring of those fallen in battle, for a seemingly good cause. But in “Forever Young” I wanted to show the less glamorous side of war. With the 100th anniversary of the beginning of WW1, I acquired a nostalgic obsession for the 1914 period – even succumbing to buying some of the commemorative merchandise: a game of two-up; and an ANZAC teddy bear.

For a long time I have seen in my mind’s eye, the ANZACS of Gallipoli as being old men. This was due to news footage of old diggers at ANZAC marches. But then it dawned on me that they were all young during the war. Basically, young lads. Younger than my own sons. I tried to put myself in their picture, and the idea of this painting began to form. I researched the topic online, and a photo of masses of stacked skulls appeared, taken soon after Gallipoli. I concocted the “Australia-head” digger idea some decades ago as a cartoon – and placed him in the landscape. With hindsight, it conjures (to me) a setting not unlike a Sydney Nolan (Ned Kelly) painting. Ned Kelly in a stark, barren Australian vista. Ironically, not unlike the Gallipoli setting. The painting’s title was inscribed in my head after seeing a promo for ABC TV’s drama “ANZAC Nurses” – in which they used the contemporary hit song “Forever Young” as the soundtrack. All the parts came together. They all died young, and will be forever young. Lest We Forget.”


Successfully feigning great interest in looking at my own work – photo by Erin Hawkins.

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The BRAG building from across Quay Street – Bundaberg Post Office clock tower in view.


Front entrance to BRAG – a sign with a pitch fork illustration on it says “Risk Entry – Thought Provoking.”


The BRAG building, looking North.

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