War and peace, in epic images

A NEW exhibition reflecting on the complex subject of 'peace' will open next month at the Monash Gallery of Art .

The exhibition, from the Australian photography collective Degree South, will feature images from Australian photojournalists Tim Page, Ashley Gilbertson, Stephen Dupont, Ben Bohane, Michael Coyne, Jack Picone and the late Sean Flynn, the US-born son of Errol Flynn.

The photographs tackle the topic of peace in the face of conflict, with scenes from the Vietnam war, the war in Afghanistan and Occupy Wall Street demonstrations.

"A lot of the photos refer to conflict," said gallery director Shaune Lakin, "But for the photographers they reveal moments of peace or tranquillity in the face of war. After decades of covering war they were tired of conflict."

Actor Jack Thompson, famous for his roles in films such as Sunday Too Far Away, will open the exhibition on February 16.

"Jack himself has a commitment to peace," Lakin said, citing the actor's role in establishing an orphanage for Khmer children and a documentary he made about the effects of war upon Cambodian children. "A generation of incredible conflict strangely hasn't affected us much here. Maybe we need to think about what it means."

There are also communities in the City of Monash who have been affected by conflict and the exhibition is equally as important for them, Lakin said.

"It's not very contentious, it's not a political exhibition. It tends to be more personal. When I look at some of the photos I do feel hope ... a possibility for people to find happiness."

Details: mga.org.au

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