Art and Activism in the Nuclear Age Exhibition

POP Gallery Fortitude Valley Wednesday 6th– Saturday 16th July

Opening night Friday 8th 6pm 

Principal organiser Ms Barbara Hartley available for interview: 0404 997 231

Special guests on opening night include the Japanese Consul Mr Masuo Ono, Prof Marianne Hanson ICAN, Dean St John’s Cathedral Dr Peter Catt, Councillor Jonathan Sri and Mr Robert Anderson OAM Ngugi Elder from Mulgumpin in Quandamooka.

The exhibition of these unique works is a first for Brisbane. The Centrepiece is a 1950 reproduction of an 8-piece panel entitled ‘Fire’ that represents the flames of the Hiroshima atomic blast. Measuring a massive 7.2 metres by 1.8 metres, the panel is the second in a series of 14 painted over several decades by wife-and-husband art team, Toshi and Iri Maruki. The couple went into Hiroshima a little after the bombing to help Iri’s family. They devoted most of their lives to painting what they saw. 

Complementing the panel is a collection of copies of sketches by citizens of Hiroshima depicting their memories of the days of the blast. There is also a Kuwano Yoshiya parody of the famous Hokusai wave and an Ueno Makoto woodblock print entitled ‘Surviving.’

Several key works feature the response of Australia First Nations’ artists to the British nuclear tests in Maralinga in the 1950s. Images such as ‘They Take Us Away Them White Fellas,’ by Karen Ingomar, vividly depict the violent dislocation the tests caused for people who lived in the area.

Photographs of Chernobyl landmarks by Merilyn Fairskye are a stark reminder of the high cost of nuclear accidents. One special feature of this exhibition is a small collection of material relating to anti-nuclear activism in Brisbane. This includes photographs of ‘ban the bomb,’ Hiroshima Day and Aldermaston marches of the early 1960s.

Other exhibits are a selection of children’s books on anti-nuclear themes relating to Hiroshima and Chernobyl, the mask carved for the Noh play ‘Oppenheimer,’ a video of a scroll created by a young man who contracted radiation sickness after the Nagasaki blast, and paper cranes folded by Australian school children destined for the Peace Memorial in Hiroshima.

A project of Just Peace Qld Inc.— 

Just Peace Queensland.

PO Box 573 Coorparoo, QLD, 4151

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