Correspondence: The War Illustrated 1940-1946 is a research based contemporary art project commenced in 2016 by artist Vivienne Dadour to investigate and exhibit a selection of hand written letters uncovered in the Woodford Academy archives, written by the McManamey family and friends that reference WW2.
Selected letters are coupled with interpretive artworks by Dadour that serve to record and share valuable insights into the texture of their daily lives while at times referencing the local and national, historical and political landscape.
Correspondence: The War Illustrated 1940-46 exhibition aligns with the political sub-texts often found in other projects of Dadour’s where she incorporates community narratives, photographic references and archival material to reveal many issues, that are today understood as important, but which may be obliterated, ignored, hidden or obscured by the passage of time. The artist sees herself as an historic agent of memory by using archival material as the basis of her art practice and by giving The Woodford Academy collection aesthetic value and historical significance ensures that such resources are valued.
Significantly, The Woodford Academy is the oldest building in the Blue Mountains and by featuring archives in an exhibition in the location in which they were created, circulated and archived, will reveal past histories that link time past to this present place. Thus, continuing Dadour’s practice as acting as a suture between the past and present.