York Town Hall to host free Anzac exhibition

Local people painted silhouettes of Anzac veterans at community workshops. Photo: Supplied
Local people painted silhouettes of Anzac veterans at community workshops. Photo: Supplied

STORIES of veterans will be shared at a free exhibition remembering the sacrifices made by the Anzacs and their families 100 years ago.

A team from the Shire of York began working on the World War I project about five years ago assisted by guest curator and military history consultant Neville Browning.

A worldwide search uncovered more than 700 descendants of Anzacs from the Wheatbelt region.

Visitors from overseas will be among those families invited to Tuesday’s launch of the exhibition, Walk With Us – Remembering Them.

York Residency Museum curator Katie Benfield described the exhibition as an “art gallery meets museum” experience, with a chance to search for an Anzac ancestor and a cinematic display of never before seen photographs from Gallipoli.

“The exhibition promises to be a powerful evocation of the real people of York, revealing their lives in a poignant and hard-hitting reality,” she said.

“It includes an art installation of 100 life-size Anzac silhouettes, in addition to an overview of the events of World War I and the effects on those left behind in York.”

The silhouettes made at community workshops will be displayed with biographical booklets together with theatrical dioramas to set the scene for the Desert campaign, the Western Front and the Home Front.

“Hundreds of Shire of York residents and their descendants have contributed information, memorabilia and made the stunning painted silhouettes of York’s Anzacs,´” she said.

Drawings by war artists, letters, poetry and oral histories create a picture of the lives of servicemen, nurses and volunteers, with a spotlight on York’s Victoria Cross winner Lawrence McCarthy and the lives of 11 Indigenous servicemen.

Funded by government and community grants, the York Anzac exhibition will be the largest outside the National Anzac Centre in Albany and the WA Army Museum in Fremantle.

What: Walk With Us – Remembering Them

Where: York Town Hall

When: April 25-July 25

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