Ivor Henry Thomas Hele (1912–1993) was born in the Adelaide suburb of Edwardstown. An official war artist in North Africa, New Guinea and Korea, his paintings reflect the essential nature of these theatres in their telling use of light and colour.
Focusing on the soldiers themselves, Hele conveyed a bizarre horror at war’s destructiveness, revulsion for human depravity and sympathy for human misery, through the medium of male beauty and athleticism. The breadth of his achievements shows the vastness of his talent and accounts for critical ambivalence. Possibly Australia’s most important war artist, Hele won several prizes including five Archibalds and was knighted in 1983.