Shaping History

Israel-Lighthorse-&-Evian-002Acrylic on canvas

Gift to Solly Kaplinski, English Desk, International Relations and Asia-Pacific Regional Director, Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, Israel 5 January 2004Limited edition lino (oil) prints may be available on the same theme


In the painting, the Israeli and Australian flags are shown to demonstrate the special relationship between Australia and Israel based on the ANZAC victory at Be’er-Sheva (Beersheba) on 31 October 1917. The centre of the painting shows Abraham’s well at Be’er-Sheva, a source of physical and spiritual water. It also represents reconciliation because of Abraham’s treaty with Abimelech (the Philistine king of Gerar).
Aboriginal art typically uses dots and earthy colours. The brown dots represent the horses and the khaki dots represent the soldiers’ uniforms. The red and yellow ochre represent the land. The key of David in the centre of the well represents the openness of heart of Australia towards Israel.
Hands are often depicted on the walls of caves in Aboriginal art. In this painting, we see the hands of black and white Australia reaching out in a gesture of friendship towards Israel. Boomerangs were typically thrown by Aboriginal people when hunting animals or fighting. Some kinds return to the thrower. On the boomerangs in the painting are depicted some of the 800 light horsemen who fought at Be’er-Sheva and their horses.