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All that fall

25 March 2015

Focusing on the wide-ranging themes of loss and absence, All that fall: Sacrifice, life and loss in the First World War creates a moving portrait of mourning and sacrifice as experienced on the Australian home front during the First World War. The exhibition brings together a unique group of contemporary and historical works in a variety of media including video, photography, soundscape and installation. Together the works create an immersive, reflective experience as we approach the commemoration of the Anzac Centenary.

Exhibition co-curator Dr Christopher Chapman said ‘The experience at home is often overshadowed by the death and brutality of the Anzac landing. All that fall evokes the longing, despair and silent sacrifice of those who were left behind.’

Visitors to the exhibition are reminded of the uneasy atmosphere of the home front by historical war time posters. Works by artists Lee Grant, Lawrence English and Ellis Hutch, commissioned for the exhibition, provide a contemporary perspective on mourning and absence.

Video portraits made in collaboration with the actors and creators of the theatre production Black Diggers, bring to life the indignation of returned Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander servicemen at the historical denial of their service and entitlements.

A book of essays has been compiled to accompany the exhibition, exploring themes of sacrifice and loss in very different modes. Essays by Melbourne academic Pat Jalland, moral philosopher Raimond Gaita, National Portrait Gallery Senior Curator, Dr Christopher Chapman, and exhibition curator Anne Sanders complement the ethos of the exhibition.

All that fall: Sacrifice, life and loss in the First World War will be exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery 27 March to 26 July 2015.