BROWN, Lyndell et al.
Framing conflict : contemporary war + aftermath. Lyndell Brown, Charles Green & Jon Cattapan
Melbourne, Macmillan Art Publishing, 2014. Small quarto, illustrated stiff cards, pp. 224, illustrated.
This book – focusing on contemporary wars and their aftermath as perceived by war artists Lyndell Brown, Charles Green and Jon Cattapan – will be of equally vital interest to those concerned with contemporary war and terror, art history and theory and artworks involving the collaborative combination of painting, drawing and photographic techniques using a variety of media. All three author/artists are researchers from the University of Melbourne and this book serves as a compendium of both their study of contemporary war art literature and their experiences as war artists in the troubled regions of Iraq, Afghanistan and Timor-Leste. Their research has been supported by the Australian Research Council under its Discovery Projects funding scheme and by the University of Melbourne. Beginning with a scholarly essay reviewing recent writings on war art, the book then traces the artists’ works prior to becoming war artists. It then documents extensively the collaborative artworks produced in the aftermath of their experiences in the field. Poignant and often frightening fragments of vision are brought together in richly detailed panoramas which evoke the terrifying atmosphere of human combat. For example, Spook Country, Maleana combines Cattapan’s painterly mark-making with Lyndell Brown and Charles Green’s powerful photography to create a tableau of military paraphernalia and its organisation and very intimations of aftermath. As a publication, Framing Conflict provides another telling example of how the vision of artists contributes to an understanding of human nature and its problems.