The visual diaries of Australian artist George Gittoes, covering the period between 2001 and 2014, were recently acquired by the Library. These standard issue A3 sketchbooks capture the creative process of an extraordinary artist.

Painter, printmaker, film-maker, performance artist and photographer George Gittoes AM was one of Sydney’s Yellow House group of artists and established a career as a significant Australian artist.

Since 9/11 he has been committed to developing a visual response to the early 21st century’s ‘War on Terrorism’.

The heavy sketchbooks have travelled the world with Gittoes, through war zones in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait, while working in Berlin, Norway and New York, on holiday and at home in Australia.

They have been used as a clearing house for a mind bursting with ideas. Each diary bears a distinctive graphic cover. Inside, the immediacy of handwriting, mark making, sketching, doodling and collage jumps off the page. The Library’s catalogue describes them as diaries, but they are also artworks, film notes, business records, scrapbooks, family albums.

Text by Louise Denoon, a Senior Curator at the Library. The diaries will be on permanent display.