Galleries this week and ‘The Lost Diggers’

March 2011


It has been a busy week!

On Tuesday I visited Australian Galleries in Smith Street to view the Drought Photographs by Sidney Nolan. A wonderful experience (review to follow). Thursday night was the opening of Manstyle at NGV Australia, Federation Square (posting to follow), the new exhibition that “explores the extremes of masculine style and some of the most influential ideas that have pervaded menswear over the past three centuries.” A lively opening with lots of milliners, designers and fashionistas but only a modicum of style from many of the men in attendance.

Friday saw a trip up Flinders Lane to visit Arc One Gallery (review of Navigating Widely by Vanila Netto to follow), Craft Victoria and drop in and say hello to Mary Lou Jelbart, director of fortyfivedownstairs and view the extensive renovations to the office and storage areas. Always good to catch up with Mary Lou. Then onward, battling terrible traffic, to the opening of New11 at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) where the work was a bit ‘thin’ with a couple of notable exceptions.

Saturday saw a drive to Albert Street, Richmond to catch up with the galleries there – mostly stable exhibitions. Wade Marynowsky’s The Hosts: A Masquerade Of Improvising Automatons at John Buckley Gallery were interesting for 10 minutes or so reminding me of evil, corseted, twirling, marionette Daleks. I then had a chat with the delightful Edwin at Sophie Gannon Gallery and saw the first stages of installation of the upcoming Daniela Federici exhibition that is part of L’Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival. Looks to be an interesting show.

Dr Marcus Bunyan


Antoinette or Louis Thuillier. 'No title (unknown Australian soldier wearing sheepskin jerkin)' c. 1916/17


Antoinette or Louis Thuillier
No title (unknown Australian soldier wearing sheepskin jerkin)
c. 1916/17

This image is published under fair dealing for the purposes of criticism or review (Commonwealth of Australia Consolidated Acts: Copyright Act 1968 – Sect 41)



This is a truly amazing story – finding these in an attic!

The original farmhouse has so much atmosphere. The photographs themselves are funny, poignant, informal, beautifully shot (the photographer, either Antoinette or Louis Thuillier, had a generous eye) and exhibit wonderful camaraderie; to actually find the original backdrop and be standing in the very place where these photographs were taken sends goose bumps up the spine just looking at the video. Imagine actually being there.

Look at the details – the hands, wedding rings, muddied boots, the children clasped by diggers with smokes in their hands, the props (chairs, motorbikes, guns, plant stands), sheepskin jerkins and the signs – We will soon, be, home, All that is left of them, France, 1916-1918. Just two men. They were so young, stoic, handsome. They stare out at you across time.

As Barthes and Sontag would say, these photographs haunt you.


View the video of the remarkable story from the link The Lost Diggers.

Look at hundreds of wonderful photographs from the links below:




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2 Responses to “Galleries this week and ‘The Lost Diggers’”

  1. March 12, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    I have written an essay for a contest at my university and I would like to use a painting by Picasso of Dora Maar and Francoise Guillot. I have sent an email reguest to the Guggenheim, but although I have heard from them, it is taking too long, and my deadline is the 17th for an 18 submission. Can you recommend somewhere else I might obtain permission from for us to illustrate my essay?

    Thank you.

    • 2 Dr Marcus Bunyan
      March 12, 2011 at 6:35 pm

      Hi – what a predicament!
      I am terribly sorry I don’t know anywhere.
      My apologies that I cannot help you – and good look with your search

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, an art and cultural memory archive, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

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