Frankfurt, Germany 1893 – Victoria, Australia 1965
Desolation: Internment camp, Orange, N.S.W.
Orange, New South Wales, Australia
Materials & Technique: prints, ink; paper woodcut, printed in black ink, from one block; hand-coloured Support: paper
The German artist Ludwig Hirschfeld Mack fled Germany in 1936, only to be interned in 1940 by the English. Because of his nationality, Mack was sent to Australia with other German and Italian intellectuals, artists, professionals and craftsmen.
For two years he lived behind barbed wire in camps in Hay, Orange and Tatura.
The night time sky, captured dramatically in this woodcut print, was as foreign as the daylight landscape in which he found himself. The vast space of the sky accentuates the misery he experienced within the enclosing fence.
Desolation, Internment camp, Hay, New South Wales was made in 1941, a year before Hirschfeld Mack’s unconditional release. He took up a teaching position in Victoria and remained in Australia.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra