Artist Profile
Your friend the enemy

Your Friend the Enemy at S.H. Ervin Gallery

In commemoration of the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign,Your Friend the Enemy curated by John McDonald opens at S.H. Ervin Gallery.


Featuring artwork by 16 significant Australian and New Zealand contemporary artists, the exhibition explores the Gallipoli landscape, responding to the Anzac memory from a contemporary perspective.

Artists travelled to Gallipoli in 2014, inspired by a series of letters written by Idris Charles Pike, the grandfather of painter and participant in this project, Idris Murphy. Over 100 letters sent by Pike from the trenches of Gallipoli to his sweetheart have only recently come to light after nearly 100 years hidden from view.

In the letters, Pike wrote about the closeness of the Turkish trenches, describing the traffic of goods between the Australians, New Zealanders and Turks, and bore witness to an extraordinary relationship between enemies. He documented how the Turks would haul tobacco and papers over no-man’s-land into the ANZAC trenches in exchange for biscuits and jam. On one particular occasion, the Turks politely wrote a note in French thanking the Australians for the goods, signing off “from your friend, the enemy”.

The exhibition will be a selection of the works from the 2014 expedition, a diverse and vivid showcase of active remembering by the artists. Accompanying the exhibition is a Special Edition, published by Artist Profile and guest-edited by John McDonald. It is an insightful look into the expedition and Anzac experience, with essays and profiles on the artists and their works.

Starting at 6pm, please join at the opening tonight 16 April.

S. H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney
17 April to 24 May 2015
(curated by John McDonald)

Image courtesy James Compton 

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