One of the members of the AnArt4Life team is South Australian narrative artist - John Rowdy Wylie who each year produces a painting in his beautiful studio to commemorate ANZAC DAY.
It is with great pride that we present Rowdy's latest work - created with love and respect for the armed forces of Australia and New Zealand and the contribution they have made to protecting our countries and also many other countries around the world.
Holding the Line 1899-2022 - is a triptych painted in oil on masonite board, W140cm x H60cm.
Rowdy explains the thoughts he had as the work was created:
The painting is devoted to honouring Our ANZACs Down Under in recognition of the service and sacrifice of the men and women of the Australian & New Zealand Defence Forces - including the outstanding involvement and contributions of the proud “First Nations Peoples” of both Australia and New Zealand.
Supporting the War efforts were the families at home keeping the “home fires burning” with manufacturing… supplies… food and correspondence to our troops on the “Front Line”…. Their sacrifice is truly significant!!!
My initial focus and motivation in painting the ANZACS “Holding the Line” composition is one of gratitude.. thankfulness and ongoing remembrance of the men and women who unselfishly endured personal sacrifice… hardship and in many cases their lives…
“Post War Generations” from both countries have been provided with a life time of opportunities… freedom and security… by the ANZACS' actions…
In times of world conflict including natural disasters our two nations from “Down Under” always step up “Holding the Line”… to defend and support countries in need and the “rights” of freedom for all…
Rowdy explains that the composition and narrative of the ANZAC triptych:
...encompasses numerous elements of historical significance… born from participating in over a century of world conflicts and disasters….
Both “Down Under” nations…… Australia & New Zealand have an “unwavering respect” for each other… which has been “bonded” on the world battlefields cementing its strength… resilience and comradeship…. “Brothers in Arms”….
“Lest We Forget”
Rowdy now explains the details in each of the panels as shown below:
Left Hand Panel Narrative - “Lest We Forget”
“The Rising Sun” badge (possibly the “Brand” of our Nations) is placed at the base of the “Red Poppies” from the battle fields of Europe… which are projected upward over the “world globe”… “composition” to extend “good will” to all nations… and to highlight the sacrifice of the numerous conflicts in France and Europe…. The third element is a soldier playing “The Last Post” of Remembrance…
“Lest We Forget”
Centre Panel Narrative - ANZACS “Holding the Line” 1899 - 2022
Highlighted is the map of Australia showing the curvature of the Earth with our Island neighbour’s to the north… the composition highlights “Central Australia” with the proud flying flags of our “First Nations People” & the Australian Flag… with the significant inclusion of… “rosemary bush branches” & the “Rosemary Flowers” from the battle fields….
“Lest We Forget”
Right Hand Panel Narrative - “Eternal Flame” and “Brothers in Arms”
The map of New Zealand shows the proximity of the country to Australia and flying proudly is the Māori Flag and the New Zealand Flag…
Two indigenous soldiers are highlighted in remembrance of their brave service and sacrifice for country… they are from left… Pte Miller Mack Australian 50th Battalion and Pte Guston Florian… NZ Māori Pioneer Battalion…
The R/H composition signifies the bond.. strength and comradeship between our two nations of people from various cultures…. The “Eternal Flame” is featured between the two nations and burns in our hearts forever for remembrance…. And the sad loss of loved ones!!
The journey of the ANZAC paintings produced by Rowdy Wylie is not complete without finding an appropriate home for each of these paintings.
This year “Holding the Line 1899-2022” has been donated by Rowdy Wylie to the RSL (Returned Services League) - “Military Museum” in Port Pirie South Australia who were very happy to accept and display the painting.
Shown below is Jeff (the Curator) with Holding the Line 1899-2022 is now part of the “United Nations” – “Peace Keeping” section of the Military Museum.
It has been an honor and privilege to show appreciation to our hero ANZACS past, present and future… by creating & painting this composition for both our “Nations ANZAC Days”…. Rowdy Wylie
If you would like to check out Rowdy Wylie's painting "ANZACs Far From Home" completed for Remembrance Day 2021 please click on the Bookmark link below.