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Army June 10, 2010
AFREE exhibition of 47 paint-
ings and photographs cap-
turing the experiences of
Australian service personnel
in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Persian
Gulf was launched at the Australian
War Memorial (AWM) on May 20.
Framing Conflict: Iraq and
Afghanistan is a compilation of works
by Melbourne-based husband and wife
team Lyndell Brown and Charles Green.
The couple were commissioned as offi-
cial war artists by the AWM and embed-
ded with members of the ADF for six
weeks from March 2007.
The artwork portrays a diverse com-
bination of Army, Air Force and Navy
operational activities, including logistic
support, training, communications and
AWM Director Steve Gower said the
exhibition continued the war art tradi-
tion and offered a unique insight into the
activities and experiences of ADF mem-
bers in the ongoing conflicts of Iraq,
Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf.
"Just as we now value the paintings
of Gallipoli and the Western Front by
George Lambert and Arthur Streeton as
important contributions to the history of
World War I, the works of art by Brown
and Green capture these modern con-
flicts for the records," Mr Gower said.
Artist and lecturer at the University
of Melbourne, Lyndell Brown said she
had collaborated with Charles Green
since 1986 and the detailed oil paintings
were derived from the thousands of pho-
tographs they took while embedded.
"We focused on what was behind the
news. In particular, the scale of modern
warfare and the vastness, entropy and
fragility of vast air fields and shipping
containers surrounded by Afghanistan's
mountainous terrain," Ms Brown said.
"We were trying to h
things, not the drama
inspired by the watchf
ness and constant suspense of waiting."
Together the artists worked with
units from across the ADF including
HMAS Toowoomba, 5 Avn Regt and
173 Avn Sqn. "We were onboard HMAS
Toowoomba as she circled between the
oil rigs in the Gulf.
"The ship was a beautiful experience
for us in terms of seeing the light on the
waves and we took some amazing pho-
tos of young sailors on the bridge chart-
ing the waters.
"Then we were flown across the
Middle East to Afghanistan by a very
capable pilot," Ms Brown said.
"I had never met anybody in the mili-
tary before this project and I was dis-
armed by their quiet confidence. They
were just very capable, grounded and
decent people, getting to work just like
a paramedic or fireman would. I was
very proud of the way the Australians
Although the exhibition has travelled
throughout Australia, this is the first time
viewers will see the painting of explosive
detection dog Sarbi, which was added to
the exhibition in Canberra. Sarbi was lost
for more than a year in Afghanistan after
she went missing in action. By chance,
Sarbi was discovered by an American
soldier in November 2009 and returned
to her Australian handler.
Ms Brown said it was difficult for her
to say which piece was her favourite in
"It really depends on where I'm fac-
ing. The little market scene with the
Australian soldiers sitting on the rug
with Afghan traders is quite a beautiful
image. I also love the scene over the side
of HMAS Toowoomba as the dawn light
hits the waves," Ms Brown said.
Framing Conflict: Iraq and Afghanistan is on dis-
play every day from 10am to 5pm at the AWM in
Canberra until August 18
The Middle East has been captured on canvas
by war artists Lyndell Brown and Charles Green,
AB Melanie Schinkel reports.
Modern take on conflict
Telling a story: Artist Lyndell Brown's take on
Australian soldiers talking with Afghan traders
(above) and Ms Brown and husband Charles Green
check out their work on exhibition at the Australian
War Memorial (left).
Photo by AB Melanie Schinkel
Sights and sounds: The artists' take on market day in Tarin Kowt (above)
and a painting of explosive detection dog Sarbi (inset).
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