Satire in the Time of War @ Leeton Library
Hal Eyre began working as a cartoonist for the Daily Telegraphnewspaper in 1908. The 357 original drawings he produced for the paper during World War I were purchased by the State Library of NSW in 1920. This collection depicts the war from a cartoonist’s perspective. He satirised themes of national identity and political power plays and the disintegration of the great European powers as the world erupted in warfare.
The skill of political cartoonists is to distil a complex situation into a humorous, powerful visual statement. Eyre did this within the tradition of his time, using symbols of Empire, including animals as metaphors for nation states. He made great use of caricatures of well-known European leaders.