The Ink in the Lines by Bob McKendry & Stephen Toaldo

Ink in the Lines explores the connection between the personal experiences of Australia’s veterans and the inked designs that help tell those stories. Throughout 2019, Australian War Memorial photographic curator Stephanie Boyle teamed up with photographer Bob McKendry and videographer Stephen Toaldo to interview Australian veterans and bring their military tattoos to life by giving insight into the stories that colour them.

© Bob McKendry
© Bob McKendry

The exhibition features video interviews and portrait photography documenting the experiences of Australian service men and women, and the personal meaning that is embedded in each of their tattoos. A common theme that underscores the responses of the subjects is that they use their tattoos as a means to remember, a way to never forget.

© Bob McKendry
© Bob McKendry

Tattoos, which can come in the form of images or words, are often used by veterans as a way to commemorate the people they want to honour as well as the events that have shaped the course of their lives, especially loss and tragedy. 

The exhibtion will be on display in the Special Exhibition Gallery of the Australian War Memorial until 27 January 2021. However, for those limited by border restrictions, the images and stories of the military tattoos can be accessed online at this link.

© Bob McKendry
© Bob McKendry

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December

This group show centres on contemporary surf and ocean photography, focusing on four artists from the Central Coast, New South Wales, all early to mid-career photographers: Luke Shadbolt, Ryan Heywood, Spence Hornby and Reed Plummer.

'Untold Eurobodalla' takes a lateral approach to examining the multitude of ways that local residents contribute to the place they call home and shares their distinctive stories through photography, film, and the written word.

January

'The Essence' offers a unique, sensorial experience by combining soundscape, sculpture, video, and photography. The exhibition considers the subject of consciousness by challenging our views on reality and the origin of the universe.

February

Mike Reed’s exhibition, '3000 Streets', traces his near and far wanderings in the world’s arteries with odd servings along the way – some meatier bites than others, but always with a leaning towards the unusual and quirky.