The ARMY WAR ARTIST
war artist means an artist that has been commissioned to record military
activities by a government or quasi-government organisation.
Australia, the Australian War Memorial is the main sponsor of war artists. For most of the 20th Century, it has dispatched artists to
accompany Australian Defence Force personnel into operational areas. The
first war artist was arguably Will Dyson who in 1916 went to
France at his own cost to be with the soldiers in the front line. Not
only was he wounded twice, he did so without payment for the better part
of two years. After his service, the War Artist scheme in
Australia became more organised and a number of other artists were
commissioned to undertake the same duties including such luminaries as
Arthur Streeton and George Lambert.
However, the individual services - the Army, Navy and Air Force -
also had artists from within their ranks, some of whom were made
war artists. Ivor Hele was a Private in the 2nd Australian
Imperial Force sent to the Middle East at the outbreak of World War Two.
General Thomas Blamey summoned him to his headquarters in Cairo and told
him to '... get out there and paint this bloody war!'
The newly commissioned Captain Hele spent the rest of the war as an
Army War Artist.
Ivor Hele also recorded Australian military activities in Korea but
after his duties ended, the individual services no longer tasked their
own personnel to be War Artists. However, in 2006, this was to
The Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Leahy, AO, requested Captain
Conway Bown (see picture above) undertake the task of becoming the Army's War
Artist and so in 2006, he was deployed to Iraq to commence recording ADF
activities as part of Operation FALCONER.
Whilst in Iraq, he travelled
with Australian troops within Baghdad and to the south of the country
including the Security Detachment, 2/14 LHR QMI, 2 CAV REGT, 3 RAR, 5/7
RAR and AATT-I. He sketched and painted and photographed the men and
women there and upon return to Australia began creating the major
artworks requested of the Chief of Army.
Independent Productions and Aviation Services
is the website of Conway Bown, Australian Army Official War Artist and Aviation
Consultant. Services include portrait painting and other portraiture, aviation
services such as CRM - Crew Resource Management - and Helicopter Underwater
Escape Training - HUET - which may include Emergency Breathing Systems - EBS -
training using Helicopter Aircrew Breathing Devices - HABD - or Helicopter
Emergency Egress Device - HEEDs.
During 2006, Conway Bown deployed to the
Middle East as the Australian Army's Official War Artist, what the US Armed
Forces call Combat Artist. This website features the artwork created during this
project as part of the Australian Army's Official Art Scheme.
For more information on War Art, Combat
Artists, Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (HUET), Emergency Breathing
Systems (EBS) or Crew Resource Management (CRM), please visit the relevant
HUET - RHO Aviation
CRM - RHO Aviation
EBS - RHO Aviation
Official War Artist - IPAS.