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August 09 Edition Cover

Historic World War One photographs on display

28 Apr 2015

Historic World War One photographs on display Image

By Louis Blake

A moving photography exhibition depicting the work of WWI era photographer Josiah Barnes launches at the Library at the Dock this month.

Barnes became known as the “embarkation photographer” as he captured the moments before young Australian soldiers and nurses were shipped to Gallipoli or, later, the Western front.

Barnes’ early work, capturing the excitement and optimism of a patriotic youth untainted by the horror of the new mechanical warfare, is in stark contrast with the sombre pictures of broken men returning home.

Through his photographs of young men and women, Barnes charts the growth of Australia as a whole, from young idealistic nation to a people well and truly jaded by the realities of war.

Supplementing the selection of Barnes’ work is an interactive display table that will enable visitors to view the full 1400-piece collection that is in the trust of the Australian War Memorial.

On Tuesday, April 21 at 6pm the Docklands History Group will be hosting a special opening night presentation of Barnes’ work. Featuring Deakin University history lecturer Dr Bart Ziino in a guest-speaking role, the night will delve even deeper into the significance of Barnes’ work.

“The bright faces of men, boys and young female nurses as they set off in their new uniforms are unforgettable, and are begging to be seen and remembered,” exhibition curator Bronwyn Roper said.

The Call: Melbourne Responds to the Great War opens on level two of the Library at The Dock on April 21, and will run until the June 21. Entry is free.

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