TRENT PARKE: WW1 AVENUE OF HONOUR
Ballarat’s Avenue of Honour is the longest avenue of honour in Australia and one of the earliest known memorial avenues to have been planted in Victoria during the First World War. Begun in May 1917 and now comprising 3,801 trees, the avenue was planted to honour the service of the men or women of Ballarat who enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force.
In 2014 Australian photographer Trent Parke was invited to participate in the international exhibition The First World War, presented in Bruges, Belgium, to mark 100 years since the German army’s invasion of that city. In response, he produced the series WW1 Avenue of Honour, comprising 22 images made at the Ballarat Avenue of Honour.
Parke, who describes himself as a storyteller, was drawn to the Avenue of Honour because it is a living memorial where each tree stands for a particular life. In selecting and photographing a particular tree he sought to explore both tangible and abstract parallels between the natural forms as he encountered them and the fate of the individual whom the tree commemorates.
He undertook detailed research, drawing on the Red Cross Wounded and Missing files to find links between biographical records and the appearance of the corresponding tree’s planting position, size, shape, texture, irregularities of growth, setting in the landscape, or silhouette. His photographs capture these visual forms as an act of contemporary commemoration.
Trent Parke is one of the most innovative photographers of his generation. He is known for his poetic, often darkly humorous photography that offers an emotional and psychological portrait of Australia. Though rooted in documentary, his works sit between fiction and reality, exploring themes of identity, place, and family life.
Parke’s work has featured in exhibitions and art fairs across the globe and is held in major institutional collections, including the National Gallery of Australia, Museum of Contemporary Art, National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of South Australia and numerous private collections.
Part of PHOTO 2021, a new international festival of photography.
Image: Trent Parke, Gunner Joseph Roy Kinsman 34405, 24th Field Artillery Brigade, The Avenue of Honour, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia, 2014, from WWI Avenue of Honour series. pigment print on paper. Purchased with funds from the Hilton White Bequest. Collection of the Art Gallery of Ballarat. © the artist and Hugo Michell Gallery
& OPENING HOURS
14 November 2020-14 March 2021
Under the Victorian Government’s rules regarding the safe opening of museums and galleries, the Gallery will be open to visitors from 14 November, in two ticketed sessions, from 10 am to 1 pm and from 2 pm to 5 pm daily.
Once visitors have reserved their free tickets, they will be able to enter the Gallery at any time during that session.
Tickets should be reserved in advance to avoid disappointment and visitors who arrive without a ticket risk missing out. Sessions not fully booked will be made available for walk-up visitors.
Book your ticket here.
Due to safety concerns, the Art Gallery of Ballarat will not be presenting any public programs relating to this exhibition.