Interior Decoration, 2013, installation.
The installation, Interior Decoration (2013), investigates the on-going, inter generational affects of untreated post traumatic stress disorder [PTSD) suffered by returned soldiers and their families as an over-looked socio-psychological factor in Australian military history and narratives of identity. Significantly, the research is intra personal, deploying analysis of the artist's subjective memories of childhood and an adult’s reflective observations. This is supported by documents such as service records, interviews, research in Israel and Egypt of her father’s tour of duty in what was Palestine during the Second World War. The sculptures - trenches, a watch tower and Vickers machine gun - are constructed from the bedroom furniture of the artist's parents, her mother's bobbypins, Singer sewing machine and artefacts from the family home to create the tensions of trauma.
The photographic strip around the gallery walls document watchtowers, signaling hyper vigilance, encountered along roads travelled from the Suez Canal through the Sinei Desert, Egypt, across the border into Israel, tracking her father’s tour of duty in what was Palestine in 1940.
The Artwork expands Bonita Ely's observations of socio-political dysfunction to include the exponential impact of war on Australia’s familial relations.
1. Sewing Machine Gun 2013 Singer sewing machine
108 x 143 x 178.5 cm
2. Watchtower 2013 Double bed, cot mattress
304 x 114 x 160 cm
3. Trench 2013
Wood, soil, metal, vacuum cleaner lint, bobby pins and framed Namitjira print. Constructed from the bedroom furniture of the artist’s parents. 130 x 414 x 298 cm
4. Tour of Duty (Palestine) 2013
Photographic prints of watchtowers taken by the artist in Egypt & Israel in 2012/13. Retracing her father’s tour of duty in WWII (289 images) Dimensions variable
5. Singer 2013
Mattress, bedding, video projection
- 140 x 188 cm; Installation - dimensions variable