2 July – 19 July 2014: Susan McMinn – Palestine 100 Years


Susan McMinn, Tango and Two Step  2010, Ink Pencil and rice paper , 21 x 14.8cm

Susan McMinn, Tango and Two Step, 2010, Ink Pencil and rice paper , 21 x 14.8cm

Its 100 years since almost 39,300 horses were sent to the Middle East during the Palestine Campaigns of World War One.[1] The overarching narrative ‘all the horses were shot’ is a long held assumption that symbolises the loss of the human soldier and the overall occurrence of war. In reflecting on the role of the horse during WW1 a confronting image of its experience arises in graphic eye witness accounts by Light Horse Soldiers.

Through an intuitive response to these histories Susan McMinn’s current body of work relies on the emotive and aesthetic aspects to uncover that, which might otherwise remain hidden. The creative act of visually probing the soldier’s personal stories assisted her in gaining an understanding of the look of the horse body as it suffered in war leading to a new interpretation. In employing drawing as a way to engage with this image, its visual form emerged within the marks, traits, traces and scribbles. Past images recalled from McMinn’s own lived experience combined with narratives surrounding the horse resulted in this suite of work depicting impressions of the horse’s fate and suffering.

[1] Coulthard-Clarke C., ‘One Came Home: Waler Horses’, Wartime: Australia War Memorial, vol. 19, 2002. pp. 37- 39.