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Gallipoli battle cries recaptured

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BerichtGeplaatst: 03 Jan 2010 16:29    Onderwerp: Gallipoli battle cries recaptured Reageer met quote

Gallipoli battle cries recaptured

A YEAR after the guns of World War I fell silent, a writer, a photographer and an artist from Australia trekked to Gallipoli to collect relics and create works of art so people could comprehend the landmark battle that took place on those shores.

Nearly a century later the art historian Janda Gooding followed in their footsteps to try to understand the challenge the three men - Charles Bean (the official war correspondent), Hubert Wilkins and the artist George Lambert - faced in capturing the images of the Turkish peninsula.

''It's an extraordinary landscape,'' Dr Gooding told the Herald at last month's launch of her book Gallipoli Revisited: In the Footsteps of Charles Bean and the Australian Historical Mission. ''It's really difficult just to get around it, let alone fight in it and then to paint it. But for a photographer it's incredibly difficult. It's a very compact space; it can have very dull light so you don't get contrast.''

Dr Gooding, the head of photographs, film and sound at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, was inspired to embark on the journey in 2007 after researching the work of Lambert. ''I thought it was essential to actually see the landscape and experience it and to feel it, because you actually get to understand what people were doing and how they were responding.''

Bean's words captured the efforts of Australian troops, but he also attached great value to photographs of battle sites, noting that ''they are a sacred record - standing for future generations, to see for ever the plain, simple truth''.

The trip of the three men was treacherous, conducted in large part on horseback, and crossing through the difficult terrain.

At the site, which is visited by tens of thousands of Australians and New Zealanders each year, Dr Gooding was surprised at how dense it was and the inability to see amid the hills and valleys. She said: ''Just looking across, you see how close the fighting lines were, how impossible it must have been to actually navigate your way through a landscape which is very convoluted, very dense.''
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