Holiday Boy

Neon light, pine, mdf, acrylic.
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Photograph by Tom McNab

This work was originally commissioned for the group exhibition VIETNAM - ONE IN, ALL IN, and was made in response to conversations between myself and Uncle Bart (Richard) Sansbury about his time in the military on tour during the American/Vietnam War. Uncle Bart served in the Royal Australian Electrical Mechanical Engineers corp as a craftsman deployed in Vũng Tàu and Nui Dat.

Artist Statement

Holiday Boy

2019

 

He was 17 years old. He didn’t want to go to Vietnam, but after getting into trouble with Welfare for running away from a state-run foster home he was given three choices:

  1. Army

  2. Navy

  3. Air Force

  4. State-run home

Bart Sansbury told me that in Vietnam he was a lucky one, a Holiday Boy.

Artists and veterans on opening night for VIETNAM - ONE IN, ALL IN at Tandanya - photograph by Edwardo Crismani