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Reconnaissance

20 Squadron ramp East Arm Darwin Harbour
Flight Lieutenant Bruce White
I was never given a story as a child to explain the absence of a father. It was a taboo subject. An invitation to participate in this exhibition looking at ancestral stories has provided an extraordinarily timely opportunity to investigate this story. Not so long ago my fatherís flying log book came into my hands. Reading it was both revealing and sobering. He flew Catalina flying boats out of Darwin throughout the Pacific region in the final stages of WWII. As it turns out, the most intense entries all relate to sorties in and around the Philippines.

The log book and cloth escape maps (carried by pilots when flying over enemy territory), along with family photos and archival footage have provided the primary source material for this video/installation work.

Reconnaissance is dedicated to the memory of Flight Lieutenant Bruce White, and to the 100,000 Filipino civilians who perished in the Battle of Manila.

Pip McManus talks about this work
Video, fabric, leather, photographs, mixed media (variable dimensions)

This work was developed for 'Immemorial', a group exhibition at Jorge B. Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research Center
curated by Steve Eland and Norberto Raldan from 24HR Art and Green Papaya Art Projects.

installation view: flying helmetinstallation view: escape mapsinstallation view: logbook entryinstallation view: chair