Brett Graham

Watch Brett Graham discuss his artistic response to World War I in this series of videos for the Anzac Centenary Print Portfolio exhibition by the Australian War Memorial.

The Australian War Memorial invited five New Zealand and five Australian artists to each create an artistic response to World War I (1914–19). These videos record the responses, thoughts, working processes, and printmaking techniques of the ten artists as they develop their prints in dialogue with Australian master printmaker John Loane.

Some artists drew on their family histories to remember fathers, great-uncles, or grandparents involved or lost in the war. Others explored their own beliefs about the war and its impact on humanity.

The videos make up a documentary filmed over 12 months at the Megalo Print Studio and Gallery in Canberra, Australia. The Anzac print portfolio is part of Ngā Toi Season 6 at Te Papa from 16 September 2016 to January 2017.

Brett Graham is a New Zealand artist of Ngāti Koroki iwiiwi tribal Māori descent. Graham is primarily a sculptor, and much of his work begins from a Māori frame of reference – drawn particularly from his own tribal history – then engages in a Māori and European dialogue.

In recent works, he has appropriated symbols of Western military power, including tanks, stealth bombers and missiles, to create mainly wood sculptures that feature patterns from whakairowhakairo Māori carving. Graham was included in the Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, the Biennale of Sydney, and the 2007 Venice Biennale with artist Rachael Rakena.

This biographical text was written by Megan Tamati-Quennell. It is based on the ANZAC Century Print Portfolio, Australian War Memorial publication, written by Laura Webster, Senior Curator of Art at the Australia War Memorial and Dr Emma Kindred, Assistant Curator, Australian Paintings and Sculpture pre-1920 at the Australian War Memorial.