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Art, love and war the subject for new memorial exhibition.

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Media Release The Hon Danna Vale MP   Minister for Veterans' Affairs Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence Federal Member for Hughes

VA16 Thursday 14 March 2002

Art, Love and War the Subject for New Memorial Exhibition

Works from the career of Australian war artist Stella Bowen have been collected from around the world to create a unique exhibition at the Australian War Memorial, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence, Danna Vale, said today.

Minister Vale said Stella Bowen; art, love and war will be officially opened tonight as part of the memorial’s Travelling Exhibitions Program, funded by the Federal Government’s commemorations program.

"This exhibition showcases the talent of one of Australia’s most gifted artists, from her early days as a student in Adelaide, to paintings done in France and Britain in the 1920s and her work as an official war artist," Minister Vale said.

"Stella Bowen was only the third woman commissioned during World War II to record Australia’s involvement in the conflict.

"Stella Bowen’s paintings brought home the reality of war for many who could only imagine what their loved ones were experiencing in a distant conflict.

"However, her work was not confined to the representations of Australians at war and I congratulate the curators of the Australian War Memorial for bringing together a collection encompassing a war artist’s life work."

The exhibition has brought together for the first time more than 70 works by Stella Bowen, including paintings from the United States and Britain, as well as works from the Australian War Memorial’s own collection.

As well as wartime paintings, the exhibition includes works from throughout her career, including some portraits and other paintings that have never been shown.

"This impressive exhibition will be shown at the Australian War Memorial until June, when it will embark on a national tour of nine venues across four States," Minister Vale said.

"This is part of the highly successful Australian War Memorial travelling exhibitions program, which since 1997 has given more than one million Australians the chance to view exhibitions ranging from the contribution of Australians in World War I through to current peacekeeping operations.

"To be able to take such exhibitions to the people of Australia, especially those in regional and rural

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areas, means that those who are unable to visit the Australian War Memorial can still experience some of what this award-winning institution has to offer.

"This has been a key part of the Government’s commemorations program for the past five years and I am pleased to say it has been a worthwhile investment in helping all Australians to better understand and appreciate their wartime heritage," the Minister said.

Stella Bowen: art, love and war is showing at the Australian War Memorial’s special exhibitions gallery.

Media Contact: Rachael Thompson (02) 6277 7820 or 0417 265 289

News Editors/Chiefs of Staff Note:

Danna Vale will speak at tonight’s official opening of Stella Bowen; art, love and war, at the Australian War Memorial from 6.30pm. A special media preview of the exhibition will be held at 10am today.


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