Wednesday, February 19, 2014

We know a pattern when we see one

Post No. 4 on OTN written back in November 2006 was about a book on camouflage and, loving a theme as we do, over the years we've posted a few camo stories with some connection to art (search camo). Yesterday in the ways of the internet we found a post by Anne Elias (ex Auckland University and now an associate professor in Australia, she has recently written on Peter Peryer’s botanical pics) on how Australian artists did their bit to develop convincing camouflage in WW2. You can only hope it was more convincing than the six billion dollar disaster that has recently seen the digital camouflage developed by the United States military chucked in the trash.

One of the Australian camo practitioners was Max Dupain (best known for his iconic photograph The sun baker) and the other was painter Frank Hinder. Dupain was trained both to recognise camouflaged structures from the air and to use what was called ‘obliterative shading‘ to create his own disguises on the ground. He rather wonderfully described himself as ‘pattern prone.’

Image: Max Dupain’s camouflage experiment at Bankstown aerodrome, c.1943. (Photograph National Archives of Australia)