McMinn to show work with renowned artists

by Chris Pedler of the Bendigo Advertiser - article appearing 1/8/2017

BENDIGO artist Susan McMinn will exhibit her work along with renowned Australian artists Sidney Nolan and George Lambert.

McMinn’s painting Desert March will be the feature piece in the Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance’s year-long exhibition The Light Horse: Australians in the Middle East 1916-18.

The exhibition focuses on the Australian Light Horse efforts in a campaign against the Ottoman Turks in the desert wastes of Sinai, Palestine and Syria.

McMinn’s inclusion in the exhibition is a point of pride considering she studied works by Nolan and Lambert as part of her Fine Arts PhD at La Trobe University Bendigo in 2012.

“I only realised (who I was exhibiting with) when somebody contacted me over the weekend after they saw a story in The Australian,” McMinn said.

“I saw that article and realised then. It was a bit a surreal but I feel pretty honoured and really excited.”​

Artwork: Susan McMinn to be featured with Australian artists Sidney Nolan and George Lambert.

Picture: Darren Howe

As part of her PhD’s thesis, McMinn travelled to Israel to visit sites where Lambert had painted works.


“George Lambert was sent to the Middle East as an Australian war artist. I was really interested in how he captured images of soldiers, horses and landscape,” she said.


“The landscapes are so true to Israel. It was  amazing to see, I couldn’t get over it.”


McMinn said compared to Lambert’s work, Nolan was more immediate in capturing the moments.


“His work is very immediate and quick. I was so interested in how he captured these real, immediate drawings,” she said.


“War was so harsh on people’s bodies and the horses as well. There was a little bit of deformity of the body from being put into unusual positions under duress, and Nolan captures that.”


It is not the first time McMinn has exhibited at the Shrine of Remembrance with an exhibition titled Battle of Beersheba, Historical Memorabilia and Contemporary Artwork. 


Her first solo exhibition was in the Bendigo District RSL in 2005. Last year she opened the Arnold Street Gallery in North Bendigo.


“I have had a show at the Shrine before. They rang to see if I would put some work in The Light Horse exhibition and used my image as the main one in the publicity, which was exciting,” she said.


As well as Desert March and McMinn’s paintings, one of the artists animations will be featured.


“It is an animation I did in 2009 called The Last War Horse and is on permanent exhibition,” she said.


The Light Horse: Australians in the Middle East 1916-18 is on from October 20, 2017 to October 21, 2018 at the Shrine of Remembrance.