Warship: The Glorious Decline of the Officers’ Library
To mark the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day 1918, the John Curtin Gallery presents Warship, a large-scale 14 metre long installation by acclaimed WA artist and Curtin Alumna, Jo Darbyshire. The installation, in the shape of the AE1 – the first Australian Submarine which was built in 1914 – is constructed from over 250 book covers recovered from a disbanded library.
The installation is about memory, the act of forgetting and remembering, but it also explores the aesthetics and provenance of the book covers, highlighting the absorbing titles and the texture and colours of the linen cloth, that speak so resonantly of the 1930s, 40s and 50s. The artist draws attention to the books as loaded objects: being both visually and historically intriguing, and explores contemporary connections to the experience of being human and our tendency to forget.
The installation will be shown alongside historical material concerning the AE1 submarine which was sunk off New Guinea in 1914 while on patrol with 35 crew after only 7 months service. It was rediscovered in 2017 and the Curtin HIVE is currently working on a 3D reconstruction of the wreck site.