New exhibition opening at the Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne
Exhibition Dates: 20 October 2017 to 20 October 2018
Further information: www.shrine.org.au
Commemorating 100 years since the Battle of Beersheba, The Light Horse: Australians in the Middle East explores the myths and realities of the legendary Australian light horsemen. Their dramatic campaign against the Ottomans in the desert wastes of Sinai, Palestine and Syria was an operation that captured the nation’s imagination.
Official historian, Henry Gullett, described the light horsemen as, ‘…the very flower of their race … the most restless, adventurous, and virile individuals of that stock.’ This bold spirit provided inspiration for many well-known artistic luminaries of the day and beyond. Work from artists such as George Lambert, Sidney Nolan and current day Bendigo-based painter, Susan McMinn, are featured. Each piece tells its own story of the campaign: the triumph, the hardship and the special bonds forged between the men who served and their horses.
Featuring memorabilia belonging to the family of Lieutenant-General Harry Chauvel, and other now legendary light horsemen, the exhibition presents the contrast between the idealised perceptions of the emu-plumed warriors and the stories of the privations the soldiers endured. The Light Horse draws associations between place, time and sentiment providing modern audiences with some insight into what it must of have been like for those who served 100 years ago and whose young lives were shaped by their experiences.