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Home > View & Discuss > Art from the front

Art from the front

  • Date recorded: 8 Mar 2016

  • Duration: 48:39

'He drew weariness and resignation, perseverance and fatalism'

– Ross McMullin on artist Will Dyson

About this video

Several Australian artists enlisted during WWI, both to serve in military roles and to use art to capture the experiences at the front line.

Jo Oliver discusses printmaker Jessie Traill, who formed a deep bond with France and its people after working as a nurse at French war hospitals.

Ross McMullin talks about Australia's first official war artist, Will Dyson, who photographed soldiers on the Western Front.

Ann Carew discusses the contributions of photographer Frank Hurley, who favoured the creation of composite and staged prints to convey the vivid reality of war.

Colin Holden talks about Norman Lindsay's war posters, which presented a 'boys' own' version of the war experience.

More to explore


  • Professor Alison Inglis (chair), academic and art historian 
  • Jo Oliver, author and illustrator
  • Ross McMullin, historian
  • Ann Carew, curator
  • Dr Colin Holden, print scholar