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HOMECOMING: First World War Soldiers of Victoria’s Central Goldfields

Written and published by Michael Grant - April 2015

 

Exhibition & Book

The exhibition of portraits entitled ‘Homecoming’ curatored by Michael Grant, depicted First World War soldiers that lived and grew up within the communities of the Central Goldfields Shire (Victoria, Australia).
The exhibtion gives a face to those whom we now only remember by their names etched in monuments and memorials around the region. Below each portrait was descriptive text telling the story of each soldier’s war experience. The project aimed to bring these soldiers stories back to life, by placing their once-familiar faces back into the community, so the memory of their sacrifice lives on.
The soldiers photographs were reproduced on vinyl banners in life-size scale (1 x 2 meters) and mounted on blank walls around the Shires townships.
To accompany the ‘Homecoming’ exhibition Michael Grant wrote a book retelling each soldiers military service story.
The banners will be placed around the Central Goldfields Shire (Victoria, Australia) for the next four years (2015 - 2018) during the months of April (ANZAC Day) and November (Remembrance Day).

 

Acquired by the Australian War Memorial and the National Library of Australia for their Permanent Archive.
 

 

 

 

DRAWING PAPER # 4

Published: September 2011 (Liverpool, UK)

 

Acquired by the TATE London for their Permanent Archive, 2011.
 
Drawing Paper is a not for profit newspaper based publication concerned solely with drawing, curated, designed and published in Liverpool UK by Mike Carney and Jon Barraclough.

Michael Grant’s work can be found on page 3, along with an artist statement on the last page of the publication.

Drawing Paper # 4 features work by 18 other artists including: Adam Batchelor, Bryan Biggs, Hannah Bitowski, Sophia Crilly, Frances Disley, Hilary Ellis, Paul Evans, Harry Lawson, Sara Maia, Jordan Marani, Doreen McPherson, Elaine Pittwood, Tim Southall, Richard Taylor & Ross Hamilton Frew, Lucy Wilson, Zhang Zhenxue and Li Zhouwei.
 

 

Click above to view digital edition of Drawing Paper # 4.

 

 

2010 University of Ballarat

Annual Research Conference


In the Shadow of Kokoda
Michael Grant
Arts Academy
The small village of Buna is located on the northern coast of Papua New Guinea. Buna is a quiet and seemingly unremarkable place; however it was once the site of desperate fighting and terrible bloodshed.

The Battle for Buna took place during the Second World War in 1942–43. This engagement is often forgotten and overshadowed by the notoriety of Kokoda Track, but it is in Buna that the Kokoda campaign both started and finished.

Buna became a major influence on my research project following field trips there in 2008 and 2009. During both field trips, I was involved in the archaeological search for Australian soldiers still missing on the battlefield. Participation in this search has had a profound effect professionally and personally. This research project therefore draws on these experiences of being on the battlefield, and seeks to visually examine the ways in which the landscape has changed since the battle took place. The resulting artworks are intended to provide a visual means to consider the nature of the ongoing legacies of that conflict.

In this paper I will explore the intangible presence still felt on the battlefield almost seventy years after the conflict took place, and demonstrate how I have visually depicted this feeling. Using a mixture of portrait and landscape imagery, my body of work digs deep into the past, reconsidering the sacrifices made on this overlooked battlefield.

 

ABC OPEN


In 2010 I teamed up with ABC OPEN producer Marc Eiden to create an audio slideshow. Within the slideshow I talk about my fieldtrips to Papua New Guinea in 2008 – 2009. I discuss how the experience of being on the former Second World War battlefield of Buna changed me.

Click on logo to view Audio Slideshow