​Shaun Gladwell: Afghanistan / 11 April – 18 July 2014

Image: Shaun Gladwell, Afghanistan, 2014, installation view, Samstag Museum of Art, University of South Australia. Photography by Sam Noonan.

In 2009, Shaun Gladwell became the first artist working with digital media to travel as an official war artist for the Australian War Memorial. Over the course of his deployment, attached to the Australian Defence Force, Gladwell travelled through Afghanistan and to various bases in the Middle East, to record and interpret the Australian experience of war.     

The resulting exhibition, Shaun Gladwell: Afghanistan, curated by the Australian War Memorial's Warwick Heywood, has been described by the artist as one of ‘experimental portraits’ that focus on the interaction of a soft, human presence, in a hostile and severe environment. Ruminating on the mental and physical preparation that goes into shaping an elite soldier, the videos, photographs and paintings that make up this exhibition, are gripping vignettes of the human experience in a volatile environment.

In a year that the nation commemorates the centenary of World War I, the Samstag Museum of Art is proud to present Shaun Gladwell: Afghanistan and Field Recordings, two exhibitions that acknowledge the grave reality and immense personal impact of war, an experience that most Australians are fortunate never to have encountered.


Samstag Museum of Art, University of South Australia, acknowledges the Kaurna people as traditional custodians of the land upon which the Museum stands.