Barry Blaikie is a new Warwick resident who has a very unique and marvelous talent that hardly anyone is aware of. Barry makes dioramic sculptures that are inspired by old buildings, farmhouses and sheds that he captures in photographs on country drives. His garage has a magical quality full of tiny old cars, houses and sheds that are beautifully accurate and realistic in a rustic way.
After retirement from a job that he loved as a wood turner, Barry started making model cars but found more enjoyment creating the buildings as backgrounds for the cars than the vehicles themselves. For fifteen years, he has been making his delightful handmade sculptural scenes that perfectly capture the typical Aussie bush home and yard.
Barry makes the majority of the elements for his dioramas by hand employing his woodworking skills as well as his own techniques for creating the weathered appearance that makes his work so appealing.
Each individual fence paling, drum and sheet of mini corrugated iron has been handmade and weathered in Barry’s shed. Some of his dioramas are as large as a table top and take up to two years to complete.
The Gallery is so excited to be able to share Barry’s amazing work with the wider community. Throughout the exhibition Barry will demonstrate his techniques and welcomes questions.
Visitors to Warwick Art Gallery will have the opportunity to view the Australian War Memorial’s touring exhibition Remember me: the lost diggers of Vignacourt as the first exhibition for 2018.
The unique First World War exhibition, which opens on Saturday 6 January, will travel to nine different cities and towns over three years.
The 74 photographs in the exhibition are part of The Louis and Antoinette Thuillier Collection, re-discovered in 2011 after sitting undisturbed for nearly a century in the attic of a farmhouse in the French village of Vignacourt. They were photographed by the enterprising husband-and-wife team, Louis and Antoinette Thuillier, who had set up a makeshift studio in their stable yard, just off the main street of Vignacourt.
“The enduring appeal of photographic portraits is that they enable us to imagine the characters and their life stories,” said Ms Lauren Hewitt, Photograph, Film and Sound curator. “For this exhibition, we have uncovered the identities of some of these soldiers, and their personal stories are truly remarkable. The exhibition presents a very insightful account of life behind the front lines in the village of Vignacourt, but it also speaks universally about the wartime experience of soldiers. The exhibition will provide Australians with the opportunity to connect with these remarkable photographs and the personal stories behind many of the faces".
The photographs were hand printed in the Australian War Memorial’s darkrooms from the original glass-plate negatives. Objects from the battlefields reveal what the Australians experienced and endured, while the postcards included in the exhibition allow these soldiers to speak to us in their own words.
The exhibition features prints of 74 of over 800 glass-plate negatives which were generously donated to the War Memorial by Mr Kerry Stokes AC in 2012.
Remember me: the lost diggers of Vignacourt has been developed by the Australian War Memorial, which honours the contribution of Australian servicemen and women, with the generous support of Mr Kerry Stokes AC, the Seven Network, and Seven Group Holdings.
Three unidentified soldiers of the 1st Division.
Photograph by Louis Thuillier
Courtesy Kerry Stokes Collection, the Louis and Antoinette Thuillier Collection