Bendigo's Soldiers Memorial Institute Military Museum will host an important exhibition of 26 paintings by acclaimed Australian war artist and former central Victorian resident, Colin Colahan.
The Bendigo District RSL, with the support of the Eldon Hogan Trust and the Australian War Memorial, will launch the exhibition, Colin Colahan: His Art and Life during the Second World War, on Sunday, October 20.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, and there's been a focus on highlighting service by central Victorians in Europe during the Second World War.
One such person is the Australian official war artist, Colin Colahan, who was born in Woodend in 1897.
SMIMM curator Kirsten McKay said she was thrilled to see the exhibition presented to the people of central Victoria after two years of negotiations with the lenders including the Australian War Memorial.
Accompanying the exhibition will be the launch of the SMIMM's first special catalogue which includes an essay by retired Regional Gallery Director, Peter Perry and foreword by Australian War Memorial Director and former politician, Dr Brendan Nelson AO.
Mr Perry interviewed Colahan in the 1970s and 1980s, and said his natural ability as a painter to capture a likeness to the subject either in portraiture, landscapes or still life was remarkable for his direct approach to his art making."
Colahan was offered the post of official war artist for Australia by the Australian War Memorial in 1941, and spent his initial term in England during the strategic bombing campaign before moving onto Normandy in 1944 following the Allies' advance through Belgium, Holland and Germany.
During his time as an official Australian War Artist, Colahan produced 83 works that formed a significant pictorial record of the war in Europe.
The Bendigo exhibition will also include a display of items from the SMIMM collection related to central Victorian's serving during the Second World War in the Royal Australian Air Force in Europe and the Pacific
Admission to the Sunday, October 18 floor talk is $10 per person which will include an afternoon tea of drinks and nibbles.
The exhibition commences on Friday, October 18 and will remain on display until February 2, 2020.