Join me in Canberra for “War & Love – Nora Heysen”, a talk and reading focusing on Heysen’s experiences as Australia’s first female official war artist.
Love became a complicated matter in war time for Nora Heysen. But falling for a married man in the jungles of Papua New Guinea did not distract her from her important role as Australia’s first female official war artist. She recorded the hardships facing troops and medical personnel in the Pacific in over 250 works held by the AWM, including the groundbreaking malaria research of the man she loved, Captain Robert Black, a tropical medical specialist.
It was a tumultuous time on all fronts and I will be discussing her time in the armed forces, something her father was not in favour of, saying she would see things she would never forget. This was true of the challenging conditions she worked in, but she was proud of her contribution.