and Canada
in the
Second World War
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Exhibition Theme - Leisure

Telephone exchange

Harold Freedman (1915-1999)
Telephone exchange, Harold Freedman, Australian War Memorial, ART26776

Freedman's self-portrait hanging on the pole establishes the artist's presence in recording this quiet scene of apparent inactivity. The supine soldier, surrounded by pin-ups and reading a paper, is a member of No. 80 Wing Headquarters Telephone Exchange. Communications were vital, yet the nondescript telephone exchange unit gives no indication of its importance. Freedman's small work Painted in camouflage colours encapsulates a timeless moment during wartime.

Oil on hardboard 32 x 43.2 cm
Painted in Morotai, Netherlands East Indies, 1945
Presented by the RAAF War History Section in 1947
Australian War Memorial

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