Gary Ramage | Afghanistan (2011)

Archival pigment prints on Ilford paper
40cm x 40cm | Edition of 25 + 3 Artist Proofs
100cm x 100cm | Edition of 10 + 3 Artist Proofs

Exhibition 24 March - 30 April
Exhibition Opening Friday 24 March 6pm
Guest Speaker Dr. Brendan Nelson AO, Director of the Australian War Memorial

'I made this collection of black and white photographs during an embed with Australian soldiers, in 2011. They were working out of a remote US Special Forces base called Forward Operating Base Tinsley, which is located in Uruzgan province, southern Afghanistan. I spent about two weeks with Charlie Company 2RAR.

My photographic work from Afghanistan focused on the everyday work of the soldiers with whom I was embedded in 2011. Capturing the moment when the light and the subject formed an image to tell a story in front of me for a split second – that was the challenge I gave myself every day; this is what drove me to continue searching for photographic images.

For this series I choose to shoot black and white medium format film. I wanted to use a format that I trusted would last forever. My aim was to document the lives and work of the Australian soldiers and to contribute to the visual history of our country, just as Frank Hurley and Damien Parer had done before me. Documenting Australian soldiers in Afghanistan will always remain a meaningful and humbling experience. To be dropped into the middle of a war zone and be able to make photographs of our young men as they did their job was a rare privilege.

The challenge was immense. Working to get photographs in an extreme environment, I had to adapt to ever-changing conditions whilst remaining focused on the soldiers and remembering what I was there to do. These photographs are my evidence of the sacrifices made by Australian soldiers overseas on deployment in Afghanistan in 2011.'