Accretions of History: ANZACS in Iraq, is the work of Captain Julian Thompson. An accredited professional landscape painter, Capt. Thompson joined the Australian Regular Army after a chance encounter with a recruitment advertisement. The decision to enlist enabled him to finish his radiology degree, a pivot made after the Global Financial Crisis impacted his career as an artist.
In 2016 and again in 2019, Capt. Thompson was deployed to Iraq, where the compelling visual imagery and symbolism re-energised his artistic practice.
The artworks in Accretions of History: ANZACSin Iraq reflect his deployment and have been exhibited in the National Army Museum, New Zealand, in 2021. The body of work that comprises this exhibition was completed by Capt. Thompson in a private capacity. It is neither a polemic and nor does it seek to glorify or criticise. Rather, it represents the visual reflections of a deployed soldier with artistic training in an environment the Australian public rarely gets to see.
Image: Julian Thompson, A Moment of Peace, 2020, oil on canvas, Triptych.