ANZAC Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand observed on 25 April each year. Anzac Day was originally to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli during World War I. This public art exhibition is a contemporary response to the Gallipoli Campaign in which the ANZACs fought against the Ottoman Empire on the Gallipoli Peninsula on the coast of Turkey.
The campaign led by General Sir Ian Hamilton commander of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (MEF) was to launch a naval attack followed by an amphibious landing on the peninsula with the eventual aim of capturing the Ottoman capital of Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul). The origin of the term digger for Australian troops was in a footnote to a letter sent by General Sir Ian Hamilton to General William Birchwood (ANZAC) on the day of the landings “P.S. You have got through the difficult business, now you have only to dig, dig, dig, until you are safe”.
The focus of this exhibition is on the ANZAC Landings from 7 destroyers on 25tApril 1915, the 7 Battles in August 1915, and the evacuations in December 1915 due to the incompetence of 7 of the generals managing the August Offensives. Charles Bean, the official Australian war correspondent, in his diaries although aware of the poor training, inflexible command, and poor leadership, dwells on the mateship, endurance, reckless courage, and humour of the ANZACs, which emerged as the Australian national characteristics we know today. This is explored through the artworks of Nicky Scott-Francis, Sara Scott, Jill Rock, and Elizabeta Chojak-Mysko, Monica Wheeler, Louise Severyn-Kosinska and Jolanta Jagiello.
The exhibition is curated by Jolanta Jagiello & funded by Southwark Council Neighbourhood Fund. www.artgoingplaces.com