• 17 April, 2015
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MEDIA RELEASE: Friday 17 April 2015

At Melbourne Museum last night, the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) officially opened the world premiere of the first-ever touring exhibition from the famed Imperial War Museums (IWM) in London.

After touring the exhibition, the Governor-General said in an address to guests: “I found this exhibition to be at once fascinating, thought provoking and touching.”

“As we would expect from what is renowned as one of the world’s most significant military museums, the exhibition is breathtaking in scale and technique.

“I was particularly struck by the giant screens that recreate the sensation of being in the trenches with all the chaos and confusion that involved; and I was captivated by the pensive, apprehensive and at times excited expressions on the faces of young men heading off to battle that are brought to life in the digital displays.”

The WW1 Centenary Exhibition is an immersive and poignant exhibition comprising a carefully selected collection of over 350 rare and personal objects – fromhistoric artefacts, extraordinary personal stories, notable works of art and dynamic audio-visual presentations, to an illustrated book and bespoke multimedia iPod guide.  The WW1 Centenary Exhibition aims to give 21st Century visitors a rich and engaging insight through IWM’s collection into this pivotal historical event that continues to shape all of our lives today.

World War One remains an event of truly global proportions. Unprecedented in scale and impact, its consequences reached out far beyond the battlefields to small towns, villages and homes across the world, leaving few people unaffected. Its legacy remains with us today, embedded in twenty first century global politics and the way in which ordinary people live their lives and view their place in the world.

This was the first ‘total’ war, fought on land, across the sea, beneath the waves and in the sky. It engaged not just 65 million men, from five continents and 30 countries, but whole societies that supplied and supported them.

The exhibitions narrative is built around original artefacts from IWM’s collections, ranging from large, heavy hardware to small, personal items. Everything from uniforms to trench signs, clubs and knives to the recovered ship’s bell from the Lusitania, an ‘electric undershirt’ used by aircrew and a bandage kept from the landing at Anzac Cove. The exhibition also includes an extensive display of art works of international reputation, including Anna Airy’s Shop for Machining 15-inch Shells, Paul Nash’s Ypres Salient at Night, William Orpen’s A Peace Conference at the Quai d’Orsay and C R W Nevinson’s post-war The Unending Cult of Human Sacrifice. To complement these historic objects, The WW1 Centenary Exhibition has also developed a series of short, animated films to be shown on giant screens in the three central areas dealing with the war on land, in the air and at sea. They are cemented together by four further screens that overlook the central, tall-sided area known as ‘The Trench’, constructed to evoke a sense of the feeling of being in the trenches.

The exhibition is structured in ten distinct areas, each one incorporating a balanced selection of original objects, art works and specially commissioned multi-media works:

  1. The World of 1900:sets the scene for war, looking at people and their lives around the world before 1914.
  2. Why War in 1914?:then explores the specific political conditions in Europe that led the world to war.
  3. Shock of War:shows how the nature of modern, industrialised warfare was brutally revealed as soon as the fighting began.
  4. Feeding the Front:makes the clear and indivisible connection between the fighting fronts and the home fronts, looking both at the huge manufacturing effort that was undertaken, particularly by thousands of women, to feed the guns in the front line and the use of ruthless economic warfare to attack civilians living in Germany and Austria-Hungary.
  5. The Trench:uses a number of small, intimate objects to explore how men responded to life in the unique conditions of the trenches that characterised World War One.
  6. Machine of War:looks at the central years of battle on land between 1914 and the end of 1917 as men adapted to the nature of modern war, experienced different conditions in places as far apart as Mesopotamia and Belgium, Gallipoli and France and dealt with the casualties of the fighting.
  7. Beating the U-boat:charts the war at sea, looking specifically at the emerging threat to Allied shipping from German submarines and the steps taken to overcome this.
  8. Taking War to the Skies:focusses on the new technology of aviation, as war left the ground for the first time, spreading across the sky with increasing ferocity.
  9. War’s End:begins by looking at the change in the war’s balance of power in 1917 as America entered by joining the Allied side and Russia exited following two tumultuous revolutions, before advancing to the final phase as relentless Allied attacks on the Western Front forced the Germans to sign an Armistice.
  10. Making a New World:ends the story with the drawing up of the final peace treaties in Paris in 1919 and the return of men and women around the world to peace.

Suitable for all ages – Tickets are now on sale for The WW1 Centenary Exhibition. Melbourne will be the exhibition’s world premiere and its one and only stop in Australia. Don’t miss out on this moving commemoration of the people who fought, lived and died in the First World War.

Keep in touch with the exhibition:
Website: http:// www.ww1exhibition.com.au
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WW1CentenaryExhibition
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ww1exhibition

Tickets are available to purchase for the period 17 April – 12 July 2015 www.ww1exhibition.com.au  or telephone Ticketek 132 849
Groups and schools bookings are available now through Ticketek on 1300 364 001 or email groupsmel@ticketek.com.au
Official Corporate Hospitality Packages are available now through Ticketek on 02 9266 4466

TIMES: Open Daily from 10am-5pm

Adult from: $29.90, Junior from $17.00, Concession from $24.90, Family from $80.00

Asha Holmes   |  0403 274 299 | asha@ashaholmespublicity.com.au
Sarah Finney   |  0400 197 558  | sarah@ashaholmespublicity.com.au

Bryony Phillips, +44 (0)20 7416 5316   | bphillips@iwm.org.uk

About IWM
IWM (Imperial War Museums) tells the story of people who have lived, fought and died in conflicts involving Britain and the Commonwealth since the First World War. The museum opened in 1917 while the First World War was still being fought to collect and record the stories of the millions, who lived, served and died in the war. IWM London is now home to the richest and most comprehensive WW1 collections in the world and is highly regarded as the global authority on war and conflict, from the First World War to the present day.

Their unique Collections, made up of the everyday and the exceptional, reveal stories of people, places, ideas and events. Using these, IWM tell vivid personal stories and create powerful physical experiences across five museums that reflect the realities of war as both a destructive and creative force. IWM challenge people to look at conflict from different perspectives, enriching their understanding of the causes, course and consequences of war and its impact on people’s lives. In 2013, IWM’s five branches attracted over 2 million visitors each year. IWM London, their flagship branch, marks the Centenary of the First World War with new permanent First World War Galleries and a new Atrium with iconic large object displays. Other branches are IWM North, housed in an iconic award-winning building designed by Daniel Libeskind; IWM Duxford, a world-renowned aviation museum and Britain’s best preserved wartime airfield; Churchill War Rooms, housed in Churchill’s secret headquarters below Whitehall; and the Second World War cruiser HMS Belfast.

The years of 2014 – 2018 marks the Centenary of the First World War, a landmark anniversary for Britain and the world. IWM recently commemorated the WW1 Centenary with the opening of their brand new multi-million dollar First World War Galleries at IWM London in July, officially opened by their IWM Foundation Patron Prince William and Prime Minister David Cameron. IWM will lead a four-year program of cultural activities across Britain. For more information visit www.iwm.org.uk or www.1914.org .

IWM Website: http://www.iwm.org.uk
IWM Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/iwm.london
IWM Twitter: https://twitter.com/I_W_M  @I_W_M

About (iEC) International Entertainment Consulting
iEC in an international entertainment, exhibitions and special events company based out of London and Australia. iEC EXHIBITIONS! Specialise in the concept creation, design, production and touring of unique international travelling exhibitions that can offer broad cultural appeal.

iEC Directors have produces and promoted over 400 sporting and entertainment events worldwide.. To date, selling in excess of 25 million tickets.

Over the next three years, iEC EXHIBITIONS! Will have a further 3 global touring exhibitions making their way around the world.

More recently, iEC ENTERTAINMENT! Have brought to life a number of impressive projects including promoting The Rolling Stones Australian Tour, the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Flag Handover Ceremony and several Arena productions.

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