Hold on to Peace - Image courtesy Ira Mitchell-Kirk

Hold on to Peace - Image courtesy Ira Mitchell-Kirk

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

2005 Peace and Remembrance exhibition

Tracciando L’Ombra -Tracing the Shadow
Exhibition by New Zealand artist at Cassino War Memorial Museo, Cassino, Italy, 2005.


…every time an action passes there is a memory
and thereafter the memory is about the memory of the action.
And slowly we have this fine silt, the stuff we call history
Michael Shepherd, New Zealand Artist.


Visiting a war cemetery is a privilege: a time for reflection, remembrance of historical events, and contemplation of the legacy of war.

Reinterpreting this legacy a generation later, I use my photographs as source material, filtering these images through memories much-edited by soldiers, historians and time.

I am a generation removed from this war. I see only the traces in the landscape and the lives of the people 60 years on. Just as memory edits and reconstructs history, so I pare back and reconstitute my image. Images are manipulated, overlaid, printed, painted, assembled, sanded, glazed, lovingly worked until they become a personal simulacrum, holding only shadowy traces of the reality of war.


The red flower known as the Flanders Poppy has been associated with death on the battlefield since the Napoleonic wars. There it was noted that the poppies were the first plant to grow over the graves of soldiers. This link was recorded in poetry during WWI when Canadian Medical Officer Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae (1872-1918) wrote In Flanders Fields.

Inspired by McCrae’s poem, Miss Moina Michael (1869-1944) of New York campaigned successfully to have the red poppy adopted as the national symbol of remembrance. This was formalized by the American Legion in September 1920. Subsequently, Frenchwoman Madame E. Guérin established groups to manufacture artificial poppies to raise funds for the widows and children of war veterans. She and her supporters promoted the adoption of the red poppy as the international symbol for peace. The first official “Poppy Day” was Armistice Day, 1921.

Reference: de Lautour Scott, J Kay (2005). Tracciando L’Ombra. www.version, Artist Exhibition Catalogue, Morrinsville, New Zealand. Available at www.kayscott-artist.com

1 comment:

  1. Hi From LINDA DICKENS; a particating Artist in the Legato Exhibition.As you all well be working on your paintings good luck as sometimes we need it.
    For the N.Z. Artists traveling over enjoy your journey and the experience.I wish I could travel it would be extremely interesting experience.
    I feel happy that I can send two of my paintings and they can rest in a place were N.Z. and other solders struggled to achieve peace. LINDA