University of Tasmania

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The legacy

posted on 2023-05-27, 15:53 authored by Stary, ME
This project began by questioning the symbolism and allegorical nature of the art of a select group of Australian artists, either employed or conscripted by the Australian Military Forces. The primary aspect of my research is to demonstrate how Australian democracy is potentially at risk through inflexible political and religious dogma. A recognition of a duty to the greater community of our leaders, political and military, to ensure accuracy and truth in all aspects of public training and recording occurred as a direct result of inheriting the military service books of my maternal grandfather and uncle. When the books contained errors I became concerned for the ethical and moral accountability of the senior officers of the military. Whilst acknowledging the importance of the services my perception of its cultural intransigence to the individual led to a desire to create an installation in the attic of my home. This space reinforces how the political eventually cannot be separated from the personal. I have chosen textiles as my primary medium due to their decorative and feminine connotations. Chairs made by my grandfather prior to his death in 1960 consolidate the personal connection within the work. My exegesis includes an historical interpretation of a work of art commissioned in 1566, various examples of the resistance to educating the masses together with an overview of a theory of ethics and morals. As situations of unethical behaviour within the military system is a primary concern I reviewed an example of unprincipled war-time behaviour by the Japanese on Bangka Island in World War II as well as a peace-time situation aboard an Australian naval cruiser. During the research process I visited several military facilities, including the Launceston army barracks, the Canberra War Memorial, Hobart's Anglesea Barracks, The Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne and several war cemeteries, however, my research is presented from the perspective of an extended family member of former serving soldiers. In summary, I am concerned history is at risk of repeating itself unless an awareness of a potentially new allegorical use of military art is ignored.


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Copyright the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). 2009. No access or viewing until 9 June 2011. Thesis (MFA)--University of Tasmania, 2009. Includes bibliographical references

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