Portraits of a few who represent many, describes a major photographic exhibition opening in Adelaide today, featuring 100 South Australian war veterans.
The veterans’ portraits were captured as part of an ambitious nationwide project titled Reflections – Honouring our World War II Veterans, which aimed to photograph as many of Australia’s surviving World War II veterans as possible. More than 5000 portraits have so far been completed.
In South Australia alone, 1050 portraits were taken by 29 professional photographers. From this body of work, 100 portraits were selected to create Wish me luck – Honouring our World War II Veterans, part of the state’s Anzac Centenary commemoration activities.
The photographic portrait exhibition will be opened at 530pm today by Veterans’ Affairs Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith, at the State Library of South Australia’s Flinders University City Gallery. Approximately 26 WWII veterans and their families will attend.
The Wish me luck exhibition is being jointly presented by the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) and Flinders University Art Museum, in partnership with Atkins Photo Lab and Veterans SA. Poetry by Bob Jarrad and artworks by Barry Spicer and John Ford complement the portraits.
Curated by Louise Bagger (AIPP) and Sharon Cleary (Veterans SA), the 100 images have been selected from the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) Reflections Project. Launched on Anzac Day 2015, this nationwide project aimed to photograph as many surviving WWII servicemen and servicewomen as possible, as a way of honouring their service and the service of those they served with. The Reflections collection will ultimately be housed at the Australian War Memorial.
The work of 29 South Australian photographers, who donated their time and expertise to photographing these heroic men and women, also forms part of this year’s SALA Festival.
Quotes attributable to Minister Hamilton-Smith
The service of South Australian WWII veterans is well represented in this very moving and inspiring exhibition. Every face tells a story including the bravery, humour and enduring courage of all those who served in defence of our nation.
The number of World War II veterans in our midst is diminishing rapidly as age inevitably wearies these remarkable servicemen and servicewomen, most of whom are now in the mid to late nineties. We are very pleased to be part of this exhibition, which not only honours our WWII Veterans, but acts as an inspiration for future generations.
Quote attributable to John de Rooy APP.L Hon. FAIPP, Project Manager, Reflections – Honouring our WWII Veterans
The AIPP Reflections Project is the biggest single professional portrait project ever undertaken in Australia. It is so satisfying to have these portraits exhibited, and I know I speak for all the photographers involved when I say how heart-warming the project has been. It would indeed be wonderful if the “Wish me Luck” exhibition could be duplicated in other cities and areas around Australia, so we can continue to honour and pay tribute to our WWII veterans during this important period of national reflection.
Quotes attributable to Professor Robert Saint, Vice President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Flinders University
Wish me luck aptly reflects the trepidation felt by many who served in the defence of the nation, but what got them through was often more than luck; namely courage, grit, intelligence, resourcefulness and determination. They’re qualities Flinders is proud to champion by staging this exhibition honouring the contributions of these heroic figures, as they are qualities we value and seek to build in our own students, teachers and researchers.
Louise Bagger (National Coordinator of the AIPP Reflections Project), Andrew Barre, Jacqui Bateman, Natasha Botheras, Marina Birch, Naomi Bubner , Maretta Catlin, Deanna Dunbar , Leanne King, Heidi Linehan, Nadia Marlow, Marie Martland, Tom McNab, Frank Monger, Melissa Neumann, Hayley Roberts , Helen Roberts, Vanessa Size, Dale Smith, Tony Tervoert, Karen Waller, Jacqui Williams-Jabarin.
Wish me luck – Honouring our World War II Veterans runs from Saturday 9 July to Sunday 11 September, 2016. A series of public talks will accompany the exhibition.
For full details and daily opening times see: http://anzaccentenary.sa.gov.au/event/wish-me-luck-honouring-our-world-war-ll-veterans/