Today I added to this site a link to the art blog of Jon Stevenson, Letters to Cassino.
He writes: The battle of Monte Cassino was one of the bloodiest engagements of World War II and it remains one of the most controversial. 'Letters to Cassino' is the working title for a body of artwork under development. The aim of the project is to piece together from family recollections, letters and official records the experiences of one ordinary New Zealand soldier at Monte Cassino. Through an imagined correspondence between Mac and a Cassino citizen over 65 years I aim to reflect on both the fragile nature and the tenacity of life. Universal and timeless themes, no more important for us to remember than today.
His blog also gives background information about the battle of Cassino, and his reactions as an artist and a parent to this part of our history.
Stevenson's comment that "There are strong connections between places of conflict and our national identity" reminded me of the permanent exhibition at the Auckland Museum, Scars on the Heart, which documents the emergence of New Zealand as a nation through the strife and scars of war. The Auckland War Memorial Museum is both a museum and a site of commemoration for New Zealanders lost at war.