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Sunday, April 19, 2015

ANZAC Centenary, Peace Forver

This whole post was included in "ANZAC Illustrated" exhibition at Clunes International Booktown Festival. All works were created by Australian picture book illustrators. I was included into them. A great honour. It is the Australia's largest book trading event and the only booktown in a southern hemisphere. Thank you very much for the strong support. 

I sketched a veteran's monochrome photos, watches and a uniform that are dedicated for ANZAC and displayed in a public library like a museum. ANZAC day, 25th April is the remembrance day of soldiers and served people in Australia. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. Originally it was to honour the ANZAC members who fought in Gallipoli against Turkey in WWI. 100 years have passed. 
Casuality : Over 80,000 Arab and Turkish soldiers were killed. Their wounded number was doubled Australian soldiers. Nearly 9,000 Australian soldiers lost their lives. About 140,000 allied troops were killed or wounded. Totall : Estimated causality was nearly 400,000 on both sides. 
What's the meaning of ANZAC, our respect and mourning today? In my view, the message of died soldiers is simple, "Never repeat war. Remember our sacrifices for peace. Pass on a better world to a next generation." I'm certain that none of killed or served people wants us to make war. How much died people wanted to come home safely to see us, family, loves and friends!  What do you think, Friends? In your own country, you have a similar remembrance day. Today, sadly, there are still wars on the earth. (*NOTE : A soldier's ID is changed.)
In sociology, ANZAC was discussed in regard to a national identity. Our country, Australia always has been seeking for identity. In a critical analysis, this fight, in fact, the invasion of Turkey, has differentiated Australia from "mother" Britain in a socio-political aspect. As a result, it has formed nationalism. Subsequently, the social position and the rights of veterans might be publicly recognised. 
However, the position of Indigenous soldiers, served women such as nurses and non-English speaking background people were invisible in respect of human rights and equality. The official recognition of their work has been delayed. Research is more needed to clarify the issues. Btw, please get surprised. When a tutor asked us, "Does anyone know about ANZAC?" in a tut, only me, this made-in-Japan Australian knew it. It shocked the tutor (... or we're having a peaceful society than ever? = It seems young people do not know about ANZAC).  
Apart from the heavy topics above, I enjoyed the sketchingAll exhibited things belong to a librarian's father, who already passed away. (She happily permitted my sketch and always encourages my art activities.) The photo was framed in a cracked glass.
"Did your father talk of war?" I asked the librarian.
"No. I think it was from post war trauma."
As far as I know few veterans speak of war experiences and keep a heavy silence. The two librarans' sons are serving right now. They are worried about precious sons' lives and safety. All of us agreed, "Against any war." My sketches made the librarians very happy. She added in a cheerful tone, "Great honour. My father should be very happy with your sketches. Blog it!" Thank you for your cooperation and warm cheers.
Technically, I chose a "realistic" and "calm/quiet" approach for the images. The sketches gave me confidence how to colour the images created from monochrome photos. I added colours on figures from my own imagination.
Also, a blog friend says, "How interesting you can take something as static as a watch and still give it life in some way - how do you do that? It doesn't look dull and static when you paint it but has a vibrancy and life to it - you do that with everything, not just people so it must just be your personal style :)." 
Thank you. I actually do not know well how I did it. Yes, it's my style much like from my instinct. "Colour" is my most favorite area and tool. None of theories explains it. I can tell a story in colour rather than black and white. 
I compare my drawing to language speaking and bird singing. Think of your language production. We've learned how to speak in an early stage of life. When we are grown up, we can speak only in a "moment" and unconsciously. Linguists still scratch their heads about a human speech production process. It's an enigma. Or think of a bird. I'm sure birds cannot tell you why/how they sing. My drawing, too. I've learned drawing like speaking. I draw quickly without any thought. Drawing is my language like kids and birds do. I do not know well about my drawing process. 
While sketching, my sketches interested people and they talked to me. 
If I dare to explain my drawing theoretically, "value" is the key. In narrative, small settings are crucial, too. Did you realise that I changed the soldier's eye contact in colour from the black and white drawing? I made him more facing us straightly. Really a slight change though, it has made a mood. I always weigh on eyes in portraits. Or Friends, can you explain my painting features for me?? That'll be great and fun. I really appreciate your kind help! 
Parramatta library calls for post cards for women and men currently serving for Australian army (Wednesday 8 April to Friday 24 April 2015). I wrote 2 and added the sketches of Parramatta landscapes in them. Wow, what an honour, the library displays my submitted post cards on a board as samples. "Your sketches are so beautiful!" says a librarian about why they put my postcards (*thank u!). Collected postcards will be sent to Department of Defence to forward to our military personnel all around the world. I hope our little bit compassion will comfort people in army. 
Back to the topic. I hope we will bequeath a better world to a next generation from the precious experience of ANZAC. I also hope, we, illustrators and artists will work on sending the important message, the want for peace in art. 
Friends, Happy Painting! 

BIBLIOGRAPHY
“Anzac Day” Wikipedia Online Edition 2015http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anzac_Day>
Australian Army (ed.) (2015) "Anzac Day"
<http://www.army.gov.au/our-history/traditions/anzac-day
Australian War Memorial (ed.) (2015) "Great War Nurses" 
<https://www.awm.gov.au/exhibitions/nurses/ww1/
Flanagan, M (2010) "One-sided thinking on Gallipoli injustice," Sydney Morning Herald<http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/onesided-thinking-on-gallipoli-an-injustice-20100423-tj50.html
Florek, S (2015) "Our Global Neighbours : Australia and Turkey at War."<http://australianmuseum.net.au/blogpost/science/our-global-neighbours-australia-and-turkey-at-war>Australian National Museum.  
Londey, P (2015) "Indigenous Australian servicemen" <https://www.awm.gov.au/encyclopedia/aborigines/indigenous/> Australian War Memorial. 
New Zealand History (2014) "Gallipoli casualties by countries."
<http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/media/interactive/gallipoli-casualties-country>





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16 comments:

  1. True, Sadami. The drawing is your language, and your colors always speak of peace. Beautiful work. Congratulations and a big hug. Take care much.
    Have a happy day!

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    1. Dear J.Paz, thank you very much! If you find my message peace in work, it would be my most joy. You, too, please take care, enjoy drawing and have a creative week. Best wishes, bug hug, Sadami

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  2. Beautiful drawings and paintings :-)

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    1. Oh, sweet Ann, thank you very much! Btw, I've found your blog is an award free zone and did not leave it. But I always appreciate your support. Best wishes, Sadami

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  3. These are wonderful, Sadami! I have no formal art education and cannot weigh in on any theory or style - I often still flounder regarding the basic art nomenclature. All I know is that your work communicates volumes through simple yet purposeful use of shape, color and value changes... I learn a lot from you!!

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    1. Hi, Minnemie, me, neither, no formal art education, a self-taught drawer/watercolourist = have no definition of theoritical stuff, only the exception is "Children picture book illustration course" at uni (*the lecturers discovered me). So, Minnemie, have confidence. We'll never know what will open your door.
      Happy to know that my work well communicates sujects and viewers. Let us explore watercolour and drawing. Best wishes, Sadami

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  4. Colour is my first instinct too, Sadami. I remember my father also did not talk about the war much. I love your sketches, Sadami! The watches are my favourite!

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    1. Thank you, Judy! Peace, not war. Even little kids know punching each other is wrong. Me, too, like the watches. Let us do something for peace by art. Best wishes, Sadami

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  5. Unos dibujos muy hermosos, ha sido un acierto el monocromo creo que es un buen trabajo. Felicidades!

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    1. Gracias, Tina!!! ¡Eres un encanto! Un abrazo, Sadami
      Thank you, Tina!!! You're so sweet! A hug, Sadami

      >>>> Tina said...
      Some very beautiful drawings, has been a success monochrome I think it is a good job. Congratulations!

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  6. When I read stories that include those soldiers in wars, it seems to far away and yet so familiar - just history repeating itself and I don't always understand the bigger picture - it's definitely not black and white and easy to understand why countries go to war and why it happens or what they want for the outcome. Anyway, I like all of your sketches/paintings!! Sad that younger Australians don't know about Anzac or what it means - like our Vietnam, I suppose, most younger people don't know much about it.

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    1. Thank you very much Rhonda! The librarians love my work, too. And your say is just spot on. I really don't understrand war or killing people, either. If countries punch each other only for an inch of land, how silly! I hope we will pass on the real facts and the importance of peace to a next generation. Kind regards, Sadami

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  7. Sadami, I really enjoyed your watercolors and portraits, very fresh and spontaneous !!!

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    1. Oh, Marine, thank you and you're so sweet. Your drawings are so cute, beautiful and look like picture book illustrations. People love your work!! Cheers, Sadami

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  8. your sketches are so honest and beautiful --they speak volumes! Love them all :)

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    1. Thank you, Meera! I hope the work will speak on behalf of soilders died in war. I hope it will speak love, hope and dream for a next generation. Best wishes, Sadami

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