Sunday, April 22, 2012

Hell Here Now - The Gallipoli diary of Alfred Cameron at Whitespace Contemporary Art

Whitespace is at 12 Crummer Road, Ponsonby, Auckland. The weekly opening hours: Tues to Fri 11-6pm | Sat 11-4pm. These new paintings about Alfred Cameron show his journey from his uncle’s farm at Culverden to Gallipoli. They will be on display at the Gallery until the 5th of May.

1  Leaving Culverden. 78 x 9 cms.
Alfred Cameron was working on his uncle’s farm at Culverden in North Canterbury when war was declared. He began his daily diary on the 13th August 1914 with the words, ‘Enlisted for first New Zealand Expeditionary Force to European War.’
Left Wellington at 6.30 a.m.  Eleven panels. Each panel 38 x 100.
On the 16th of October ten troop transports and their naval escorts steamed out of Wellington Harbour past a landscape that looked strangely like Gallipoli. Alfred Cameron was on board the Tahiti.
Saw camels for the first time. 180 x 40.
On the first of December Cameron sailed through the Suez Canal. He wrote in his diary about seeing camels for the first time.
There was scenery and doings en-route of much interest and novelty. Three panels, each panel 16.5 x 26.
The New Zealand troops disembarked at Alexandria and moved to a camp in the desert near Cairo.
A strange Christmas in the east.  24 x 34.
On Christmas day 1914 Cameron described a trip to the Pyramids.
The sea is very smooth and also very blueFour panels, each panel 40 x 38.
In early May Cameron writes, ‘Great news, off to the Dardanelles on Sunday.’ This was a four-day journey on the steam ship Grantully Castle.
Hell Here Now.  Ten panels. Each panel 60 x 120.
Cameron kept his diary for three weeks on Gallipoli. The last words he wrote at the end of May were, ‘Dam the place no good writing any more.’
Return to Cricklewood. 68 x 20.
In July Alfred Cameron was wounded and evacuated to a hospital in Cairo. He returned to New Zealand and became a farmer near Cricklewood in South Canterbury.

The paintings are all oil on board. You can contact White space here or by ringing 09 361 6331