Launched to coincide with Remembrance Day, Veterans’ Stories features artworks created by military veterans, made over the course of a weekend in a workshop facilitated by Richard Lewer. Lewer is a Melbourne-based artist whose practice encompasses painting, drawing, and often focuses on socially engaged work. Richard spends time working with communities in order to support their artmaking, often focusing on work made in response to a particular issue, in this instance, veterans dealing with the ongoing impacts of military service.
The veterans who took part in this workshop served in various roles across the defence forces, including in the Intelligence Corps, Marine Specialist and Navy Divers, Quartermaster, Transport Operator and Electronics Technicians. They have served in East Timor and the Middle East, amongst other places, and what they have witnessed have had an ongoing impact. The artworks in this exhibition explore themes such as PTSD, pride, depression, identity and loss.
Artmaking is one form of self-expression and it has the power to allow people to communicate ideas and emotions or process feelings. There is a vulnerability in opening up in this way, and we thank the artists for sharing such personal and difficult artworks with us.
The workshop, which took place over the weekend of 15-16 April 2023, was held at the Landship, part of the Georges Heights military precinct, here in Mosman. Mosman has been a site of defence for Sydney since at least the beginning of the 19th century. The Headland Preservation Group fundraised for and organised this workshop as part of their advocacy for the protection of this military history.
Please enjoy these works of art and appreciate the warzone and military experiences which are the genesis of the work. We hope that a window is opened which provides visitors with a glimpse into the stories of veterans and their lives past and current.
image: Dixie Foord, Mine Diver Delivery, 2023, synthetic polymer paint on paper, image courtesy and © the artist.