The Deployment 

Oil on Linen 

30 x 120cm 


When a military deployment begins, a threshold is crossed. A disparate group of individuals – of differing identities, professions, outlooks and loves – coalesces into a whole, their shared experiences and the anticipation of the unknown to come burnishing the moment so it will crystalise into a memory fresh for a lifetime of ready recall. It is a unique moment. With barely a backward glance we depart home and its domestic treasures for distant, alien horizons, in a mood subdued but expectant. Rising like a deity across the tarmac is a gleaming airframe, symbolic of a nation in whose service our forces deploy, each insignificant against its dimensions but drawn inexorably by the currents of history and geopolitics and an innate drive to seek a reckoning with personal limits.  


Since the dawn of time humans have journeyed to defend what they hold dear, and conflict has been an ever-present singularity around which our histories orbit. From our earliest forays with spear in hand to the frontiers of tribal lands, through the innocence of boatloads of eagerly departing ANZACs for an absurd fate at Gallipoli to today’s values-based interventions, it was ever thus.