Ben Quilty, who was the official Australian war artist for the Australian War Memorial, toured with Australian Defence Force Between 11 October and 3 November 2011. Travelling to Kabul, Kandahar and Tarin Kot, Quilty intended to capture the impact the war has on those at the frontline in his paintings. The exhibition is titled 'Ben Quilty After Afghanistan', runs at the National Art School Gallery until 13 April 2013.
Born in Sydney in 1973, Quilty won the 2011 Archibald Prize with his portrait of the late artist Margaret Olley. Displaying more than 20 paintings and additional sketches from Quilty's trip, the exhibition shows the artist's interpretation of the experiences of Australian service personnel in his paints. Based on Quilty's personal encounters with Australian and Afghani men and women in the war zone, this exhibition is a vivid depiction of human condition and emotions in the state of fear and insecurity.
Adding to this, a free panel discussion including Ben Quilty and Wendy Sharpe on The Art of War will be run Wed Mar 20, 6 pm - 8 pm, in National Art School's Cell Block Theatre. Wendy Sharpe was assigned to the Army History Unit in East Timor (Timor-Leste) in 1999. The panelists will discuss their work in the context of witnessing and interpreting war.