Rodney Forbes Able Seaman John Henry Jarrett, RAN 2022 oil on canvas, text panel 30 x 60 cm
Congratulations to Rodney Forbes and Christine Wrest-Smith, who have been selected as a finalists in the 2022 Gallipoli Art Prize.
The Gallipoli Art Prize is an annual acquisitive award administered by the Gallipoli Memorial Club. The Art Prize is awarded to the artist who best depicts the spirit of the Club’s creed: “there exists an obligation for all to preserve the special qualities of loyalty, respect, love of country, courage and comradeship which were personified by the heroes of the Gallipoli Campaign and bequeathed to all humanity as a foundation of perpetual peace and universal freedom.”
The winner of the $20,000 art prize will be announced on 20 April.
All works will then be on exhibition at Cleland Bond Store, 33 Playfair Street, The Rocks, NSW from 21 April – 8 May 2022.
For more information, and to view all 2022 finalists, click here.
‘John Henry (‘Jack’) Jarrett joined up at the outbreak of World War 2, aged 18. His ship, HMAS Perth fought with honours in the Mediterranean and the Far East before going down fighting, beside USS Houston, against a huge Japanese invasion fleet off Java.
Interned at Changi prison, Singapore, then brutally enslaved for years on the Thai-Burma ‘Death Railway’, he was transferred by ship, running the gauntlet of US submarine attacks, to Fukuoka, Japan. There he survived further slavery in a coal mine and intensive US bombing. At length freed, he was trans shipped through the radio-active ruins of Nagasaki to Melbourne, where he recuperated and was demobbed, aged 25.
The loyalty, respect, love of country, courage, comradeship and sacrifice of the Thai-Burma Railway prisoners of war is legendary. Jack exemplified them as the unassuming and courteous man I remember for his sense of humour and generosity. He overcame massive trauma to live a useful and full life and to me, he was a model for the best a man could be.’ – Rodney Forbes, 2022
Christine Wrest-Smith The Messenger 2022 oil on linen 112 x 112 cm
‘The Purple poppy was introduced some years ago, to signify the contribution of animals great and small during the Great wars.
It is a symbol of remembrance of the animals that number in their millions, whose sacrifices and deeds played such an important part during the conflicts. 16 million animals alone were used in WW1.
Horses, Camels, Donkeys and Mules were used in transport and carrying supplies as well as Medivac for the wounded. Dogs were trained for search and rescue, and used as ammunition guards and scouts for land mines. Cats and Dogs were used in trenches and on ships to protect food stores from vermin, Mice and Canaries for detecting poison gas.
A range of animals were present as pets and mascots, for much needed morale of their human comrades. The unconditional loyalty of a pet must have been an enormous comfort during the dreadful hardships of war.
Pigeons were imperative for communication during the war, as messengers. It is for this reason that I chose the pigeon in the form of a harbinger of peace as the subject of this work.’ – Christine Wrest-Smith, 2022