One of the most compelling artworks in our recent ‘Reimagining Peace: the Art of Protest’ exhibition which coincided with the end of the ANZAC commemorative events here in Albany WA, was a triptych by a young Mount Barker artist Kirsten Beidatsch. The strong narrative themes in these paintings and the intertwined grief, pain, anguish and finally deaths of a soldier and his horse – highlight the devastation of war for all living things in a very powerful way.
‘IDEALS’ ‘REALITY’ ‘CONSEQUENCES’
acrylic on stretched canvas – 61cm x 46cm
‘The paintings depict a WW1 soldier and his warhorse progress through the ideal of war through the reality and finally the consequences. Number 1 shows the soldier and his horse neat and in uniform, background images show the faceless war machine of soldiers on parade, soldiers and their horses in the style of the ‘pals’ posters from the WW1 propaganda and a happy village. Number 2 shows the soldier and horse wounded and tired, the village in ruins, trench warfare and a cavalry charge. Number 3 soldier and horse dead, village burned, soldiers homeless and suffering PTSD. Although depressing, these paintings encourage anti-war thinking by provoking thoughts of the consequences and loss war causes to civilians and people whose lives are impacted on by war.’