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Ben Quilty: War Paint

Australian Story

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Ben Quilty: War Paint


DVD Price $135
Streaming Price (1 year) $180
Streaming Price (1 year) + DVD $275
Streaming Price (3 years) $432
Streaming Price (3 years) + DVD $527

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Ben Quilty is an Archibald prize winning artist with a lifelong interest in concepts of masculinity - from youthful excesses with drugs, alcohol and fast cars to soldiers on the front line.
Going to war has always been Quilty's 'greatest fear' so it was with some apprehension that he accepted an invitation to work as the nation's official war artist in Afghanistan.
Getting to know the soldiers, including elite special operations troops, revealed to Ben Quilty a level of intelligence and a depth of emotional distress that he says shocked him to his core.
It forced him to reconsider his own 'anti-war' sentiments.
The painting sessions with soldiers have continued back in Australia and Quilty says he now has a dozen new lifetime friends.
He says he now feels a huge respect and a huge responsibility to help them tell their own powerful stories.
Introduced by Craig Reucassel from The Chaser.

After spending over three weeks talking to Australian servicemen and women in Afghanistan, Ben Quilty felt an overwhelming need to tell their stories. He went there in October 2011 as an official war artist, commissioned by the Australian War Memorial and attached to the Australian Defence Force. His task was to record and interpret the experiences of Australians deployed as part of Operation Slipper in Kabul, Kandahar, and Tarin Kot in Afghanistan and at Al Minhad Airbase in the United Arab Emirates.
Quilty’s work employs a wide range of genres, including portraits, figurative subjects, still lifes and landscapes. In the past he has examined ideas of masculinity, national identity, and mortality, exploring these in relation to his own personal experiences. For his official war artist commission, Quilty has created large-scale portraits that focus on the intense physicality of these soldiers and on the emotional and psychological consequences of their service.
Continuing a tradition that developed during the First World War, the Memorial has in the last decade commissioned many official artists to record the Australian experience of war and peacekeeping around the world. Each artist creates a personal and informed representation of conflict that adds to the various interpretations of Australia’s wartime history. Ben Quilty is the latest to contribute his unique insight to this rich history.

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