Erwin Fabian died in Melbourne on 19 January 2020, aged 104. Erwin, one of Australia's pre-eminent artists, came to Australia on the Dunera, though he rarely said so. The Duneraboy label was not for him.
An exhibition of his work, entitled 'Migration and the Refugee: The Art of Erwin Fabian', was held at the Tatura museum in Victoria from 15 September to 3 November 2019. The exhibition catalogue is reproduced here, alongside images of the artworks displayed. An expanded version of this exhibition will be staged at the Matheson Library, Monash University, in 2021.
Download a copy of Migration and the Refugee: The Art of Erwin Fabian
Klaus Friedeberger (1922-2019) was among the most talented, dynamic and thoughtful of Dunera artists. He was unusual among Dunera artists, and European artists generally, in seeing the mysteries and beauty of the Australian landscape.
'Am I a writer because this is the sort of thing spilling from the family closet? Or just ‘fortunate’ to be the recipient of others’ painful history?' asks Belinda Castles in an article in the Southerly Journal.
While some of the men who came to Australia on the Dunera chose later to speak about their experiences both before the war and on the ship itself – whether to the press, public, or simply to families and friends – there were many who remained silent.
‘At the time of his death, he was perhaps my closest friend,’ recalls Justin Zobel, sitting at the circular table in his brightly lit office at the University of Melbourne. It's an unexpected way to speak of one's stepfather.
Erwin Fabian died in Melbourne on 19 January 2020, aged 104. Erwin, one of Australia's pre-eminent artists, came to Australia on the Dunera, though he rarely said so. The Dunera boy label was not for him.