Beaudesert, Logan and Redlands veterans to exhibit art for War Memorial prize

BEAUTY: Winner of 2019 Napier Waller Art Prize  Natalie Duncan, You are in danger and I am far away. Photos: Australian War Memorial.

BEAUTY: Winner of 2019 Napier Waller Art Prize Natalie Duncan, You are in danger and I am far away. Photos: Australian War Memorial.

THE Australian War Memorial, the University of Canberra, The Road Home, and the Veteran's Affairs has encouraged current and former Australian Defence Force personnel to enter the 2020 Napier Waller Art Prize, open from Monday 20 April.

The prize was named for Mervyn Napier Waller, who worked as an artist prior to enlisting in the Defence Force on August 31, 1915.

He was wounded in the shoulder by high explosive at Bullecourt and his right arm was amputated as a result.

He returned to Australia in November 1917, was discharged in February 1918 and after the war he resumed work as an artist, working under the name Napier Waller.

From 1952 to 1958 he designed and completed the mosaics and stained glass windows which decorate the Hall of Memory at the Australian War Memorial.

Napier Waller died on March 30, 1972 at Ivanhoe, Victoria.

ARTIST: Aldo Rossi, Severino de Marco and Mervyn Napier Waller inspect the mosaic prior to installation at the War Memorial Hall of Memory. Photo: Australian War Memorial.

ARTIST: Aldo Rossi, Severino de Marco and Mervyn Napier Waller inspect the mosaic prior to installation at the War Memorial Hall of Memory. Photo: Australian War Memorial.

The art prize started in 2018 and is the only one offered to current and former Defence personnel at a national level.

The Napier Waller Art Prize aims to promote artistic excellence, the transformative and healing power of creativity, and raises awareness of the experiences and talent of service personnel.

The winner will receive a $10,000 cash prize, and their entry will be displayed at the Australian War Memorial and accessioned into the National Collection.

The winning artist will also receive a two-week research residency in the Art Section of the Memorial, while a prize of $5,000 will be awarded to the entry that wins People's Choice.

Private Mervyn Napier Waller, circa 1915.

Private Mervyn Napier Waller, circa 1915.

The Australian War Memorial's director of the National Collection, Major General Brian Dawson (Ret'd), said the Napier Waller Art Prize, won in 2019 by Natalie Duncan with her ceramic piece You are in danger and I am far away, continues to attract an exceptional field of work.

"These are challenging and uncertain times, however we believe art and creativity can play an important role in providing respite and fostering resilience during difficult times," Major General Dawson said.

"The Napier Waller Art Prize provides a unique opportunity for our current and former service personnel to share their experiences and stories through a deeply personal and revealing medium. I urge all creative Australian servicemen and servicewomen, current and former serving, to consider entering their work."

Entries open on Monday and close on June 7.

Entrants can submit any visual art medium including but not limited to: painting, photography, printmaking, drawing, sculpture, digital, decorative, and installation.

Artworks may address any theme, with the winning artwork to be chosen by a panel of art experts and judges.

The Memorial said it planned an exhibition of highly commended works later in the yearr and an online exhibition of shortlisted entries would be featured on the Memorial's website from August 17 to September 20.

This story Veterans invited to present art as Napier Waller prize opens next week first appeared on Beaudesert Times.