The John Curtin Gallery will mark the 100thanniversary of Armistice Day 1918 with the presentation of Warship, a large-scale 14 metre long installation by acclaimed WA artist Jo Darbyshire. The installation, in the shape of the AE1 – the first Australian Submarine which was laid down in 1911 – is constructed from over 300 book covers recovered from a disbanded library.
The installation is about memory, the act of forgetting and remembering, but it also explores the aesthetics and provenance of the book covers, highlighting the absorbing titles and the texture and colours of the linen cloth that speak so resonantly of the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s. The artist draws attention to the books as loaded objects: being both visually and historically intriguing, and explores contemporary connections to the experience of being human and our tendency to forget.
John Curtin Gallery Director Chris Malcolm said the Gallery was proud to be a part of this significant anniversary.
“It is poignant that most of the books used in the installation consider the extremes of human experience, written by individuals with personal knowledge of war and its aftermath,” Mr Malcolm said.
“These books about the past have a haunting resonance given recent heightened nuclear tensions between North Korea and the USA.”