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Messiah, The Liberator by Craig Rohse

Messiah, The Liberator

Craig Rohse

About the artwork and sitter

Craig Rohse creates art to “..start the conversation about military service and the reality of war.” He chose his subject, Deception Bay cartoonist, Damian Castellini because he fitted the intended theme of the artwork.

The artist says the work is more a commentary on the war in Iraq and the human cost to veterans, than it is about the subject. “My artwork is in response to this war and our official efforts to liberate the country from evil and the political inconvenient version that this war was largely about oil. When I was in the defence force, religion played a big part”.

“This is an image of a veteran showing his physical and mental scars, his wounds are bleeding crude oil to question the real motivation of the invasion.”

About the artist

Craig Rohse is a veteran who served with the German and Australian Army as a Paratrooper in the Solomon Islands, Timor Leste and Afghanistan. After being medically discharged, he did a Diploma in Art, and now creates artworks highlighting the struggles veterans have in transitioning to civilian life. He has won the Matthew Flinders Art Prize, and worked with the RSL in Tasmania on a book highlighting Veterans struggles.

“How do we make sure that those that witnessed these beauties firsthand come back home to enjoy the luxuries afforded by everyday society?”

Behind the scenes

The beauty of War

The beauty of war is best enjoyed from the comfort of your home, on your 50’ high-definition screen. For the past 21 years we have been able to switch on our TVs and witness the senseless destruction firsthand live from Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s just like watching Platoon in all its glory while having your surround sound system on full volume. To feel the vibrations of the M60 belt fed machine gun firing 550 rounds per minute accompanied by the beautiful sounds of Barber’s Adagio for Strings.

How do we make sure that those that witnessed these beauties firsthand come back home to enjoy the luxuries afforded by everyday society?

In the words of Prime Minister John Howard in his address to the nation 20 March 2003:

“We admire you; we are thinking of you, we want all of you to come back home safe and sound.”

“We care for and we anguish with your loved ones back here in Australia. Our prayers and our hopes are with all of you.”

In the past two decades we have lost 41 soldiers on the battlefield but more than 1200 Australian Defence Force Veterans and serving members to suicide.