Penetration Zen/ When Two Bullets Collide

Catalogue number
  • Art.IWM ART 16743 8
Department
Art and Popular Design
Production date
1998
Subject period
Materials
  • Support: paper
  • medium: etching
Dimensions
  • Support: Height 1372 mm, Width 692 mm
  • Frame: Depth 28 mm, Height 1394 mm, Width 702 mm
Alternative names
  • object category: print
Creator
Category
art
IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUMS

© Raymond Arnold

Purchase & License
Object description

image: The two halves of the work mirror each other. Each has a background of a lace patterned grid, with an irregular block of beige colour. There are two horizontal lines running across each half that meet in the centre on the design. The left half is the top side of the design, and the right the underside, which is apparent in the difference between the clarity of colour and pattern on each side.

Label

'I saw two bullets fused together, one penetrating the other, exhibited at the Imperial War Museum in London. There was an old, muddy shell standing upright on the edge of a ploughed field - shells with narrow driving bands were German - as I walked towards Villiers-Bretonneux on the 4th of July 1998. I could imagine spectral soldiers moving quickly across my path, from my right to left, under German fire as they made a desperate night counter-attack eighty years before. They were Victorians and soldiers of my great-grandfather's 60th Battalion. "Hold hard, cobbers". text about Penetration Zen from artist's book 'History/Memory' IWM: ART 16745:

Label

I saw two bullets fused together, one penetrating the other, exhibited at the Imperial War Museum in London. There was an old muddy shell standing upright on the edge of a ploughed field - shells with narrow driving bands were German - as I walked toward Villiers-Bretonneux on the 4th of July 1998. I could imagine spectral soldiers moving quickly across my path, from my right to left, under German fire as they made a desperate night counter-attack eighty years before. They were Victorians and soldiers of my great-grandfather's 60th Battalion. `Hold hard, cobbers'.

Label

Australian artist Raymond Arnold travelled to the Somme in France in 1998, following the path of his grandfather, a soldier in the First World War. Shown here are three of the resulting ten prints, a poetic response to the legacy of his family’s experience. Arnold’s printmaking process creates shapes, patterns and colours that make allusions to the frailty of the body, its protection and destruction, sexuality and death. The images have two intentionally different titles, preventing one definitive reading. One half of the title refers to the historical war, while the other signifies the artist’s psychological state; one implicated in the story of the other.

Physical description

Large etching with deckle edges on a mount board in a clear acrylic frame.

Associated keywords

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