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“The Old Warrior” is a heartwarming oil painting on canvas that captures a scene from the Western Australian wheatbelt. The subject of the painting is a WW2-style truck, which has been retasked as a farm vehicle in the rugged outback of Western Australia. At the time of the painting, the truck is near the end of its life and is being used as a fencing and fuel truck, as evidenced by the fencing materials on the tray and around it.
The artist’s father purchased this truck in the 1950s after receiving a surprising bequest from the artist’s father’s uncle in England. This held great meaning for the artist’s father, who was estranged from his own father. The artist’s father had suffered many hardships and felt a connection to this truck, which had also had a hard life. He named the truck “The Old Warrior,” and it became like a mascot for the family farm. The truck sat quietly in a shed in its later years until the artist’s brother sold it for $100 to make room for other things.
The painting is a tribute to the truck’s hardworking spirit and its significance to the artist’s father. The hot summer day of the Western Australian wheatbelt is evident in the painting, which was completed when the artist was in his prime. The painting captures the warmth and nostalgia of a bygone era and tells a story of resilience, family, and connection.
(In the associated video the artist incorrectly says he is recording it in 2004 but it was recorded in 2023, 44 years after the painting was completed in 1989)
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