1 The artwork:
A group of 4 – 6+? artworks over the next five weeks. Charcoal drawings, oil paint and paper.
I’ve been walking local streets, photographing old shops on corners which serviced the neighbourhood before supermarkets etc. Most houses in this area are over 100 years old. The houses and shops are workers’ cottages/corner stores with living quarters attached.
I’ve also looked at the WW1 War memorial in Pioneers Park. I’ve often wondered about the boys who went to war from these workers’ cottages. I found a web site which lists the locals who enlisted and brief details of their service. Many were brothers. Surprisingly, it also lists their home addresses in Leichhardt. One boy John Sylvester Blake, single, occupation carter, 20 years old, enlistment date 15 August, rank private, killed in action 20 Sept 1917 Ypres, Belgium, unknown grave, left for the war from the house I live in now. I had heard that an old couple lived here and that their son was killed in WW1. I pictured them farewelling him from my front step, the gate.
So my project has now become researching some of the homes these boys left from, taking a photograph of the current building and painting it. I’d like to attach or superimpose an item or artefact from the boy’s job or war experience and death. The basic idea is yet another reminder of the poignant ordinariness of their lives and loss and the waste of life involved in these small local communities.