Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Gallipoli Art Prize Exhibition

A couple of weeks ago I found out I was shortlisted in the annual Gallipoli Art Prize for my work Lone Pine Family Tree.

Thirty-five pieces were shortlisted and yesterday the winner was announced: Dead March Here Today, by Tasmanian artist, Raymond Arnold. An amazing, moving piece.

Go to this gallery to have a look at all the artworks.

Obviously I am incredibly honoured to have been selected. My piece will be exhibited along with the other finalists at the Gallipoli Memorial Club in Sydney from today until Friday 14th May 2010.

This is my painting along with a description of what it's about:

Lone Pine Family Tree
Acrylic on Canvas
Jodi Wiley

I first became aware of the Lone Pine memorial trees whilst doing my teaching rounds at a school which had one in its grounds. I was a History-teacher-in-training attempting to plan interesting learning activities for my students, so I designed a lesson around visiting the tree and reflecting upon not only the Battle of Lone Pine in the Gallipoli campaign, but also the nature of war memorials themselves.
At its centre Lone Pine Family Tree depicts a photograph (sourced from the Australian War Memorial) of an Aleppo Pine (1915), which is said to be similar to the one at Lone Pine. Its lower branches have been used as firewood or destroyed by shrapnel or rifle fire during battle.
In an allusion to the traditional 'family tree' diagram, the surrounding trees show Lone Pines at various stages of maturity. These are the descendants of trees grown from the seeds of pinecones brought home from Gallipoli by two Australian soldiers.
These pines can be found in many schools, RSL's and civic places. They serve to preserve the legacy and qualities of the Gallipoli heroes and, like the memorial tree I visited with my students, are powerful and tangible symbols of the way memory and meaning can be passed from generation to generation.