Opening hours: Tuesday - Sunday, 11am-5pm

Watson Road

Observatory Hill (The Rocks)

Your Friend The Enemy

  • This event finished on 24 May 2015

Your Friend the Enemy features artworks by 16 significant Australian and New Zealand contemporary artists, commemorating the ANZAC legend and the 2015 centenary of the Gallipoli campaign. The exhibition title originates from a series of letters written by Idris Charles Pike, the grandfather of artist Idris Murphy, the 2014 Gallipoli art prize winner. The letters, sent by Pike from the trenches of Gallipoli to his sweetheart, have only recently come to light after nearly 100 years hidden from view.

In these letters, Pike wrote about the closeness of the Turkish trenches, described the traffic of goods between the Australians, New Zealanders and Turks, and bore witness to an extraordinary relationship between enemies. He documented how the Turks would haul tobacco and papers over no-man’s-land into the ANZAC trenches in exchange for biscuits and jam. On one particular occasion, the Turks politely wrote a note in French thanking the Australians for the goods, signing off “from your friend, the enemy”.

Between 2014 and 2018 Australia and New Zealand will commemorate the ANZAC Centenary, marking 100 years since our involvement in the First World War. The invited artists, filmmaker Bruce Inglis, historian Dr Brad Manera and writer James Compton travelled to Turkey in 2013 & 2014 on a painting and research expedition, concentrating on Istanbul and Gallipoli. The travellers were led in Turkey by historian, Dr Brad Manera, the Executive Manager of the NSW ANZAC Memorial. Dr Manera provided the artists and writers a direct account of the history and conflicts at significant sites on the Gallipoli Peninsula.

The material produced, documented and written on the trip is featured in the exhibition and a special edition of Artist Profile magazine, with guest editor, arts writer John McDonald who accompanied the artists on tour to Turkey.


Curated by John McDonald. Hosted in collaboration with Artist Profile Magazine


Sunday afternoons @ the Gallery, 3pm

Sunday 19 AprilCurators talk with John McDonald

Join John McDonald, curator Your Friend the Enemy, as he discusses his journey to the Anzac battlefields with the artists. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear unique insights from art critic John McDonald

Sunday 26 April – Urban artists journey to Anzac Cove

Join Leo Robba, Susan O’Doherty and Peter O’Doherty as they discuss the challenges faced by urban artists going into a foreign landscape

Sunday 3 May – A Gallipoli Story

Join artist Idris Murphy for a fascinating story about his grandfather, Gallipoli soldier Idris Charles Pike, along with historian Dr Brad Manera from the Anzac Memorial, Hyde Park, Sydney

Sunday 17 May – Painting Anzac Cove

Join landscape painters Euan Macleod, Amanda Penrose Hart and Steve Lopes as they discuss their exceptional body of work for this exhibition

Sunday 24 May – Painting ‘en plein air’ in a foreign landscape

Join artists Guy Maestri and Luke Sciberras for a discussion on the challenges of painting en plein air in a foreign landscape