Hold on to Peace - Image courtesy Ira Mitchell-Kirk

Hold on to Peace - Image courtesy Ira Mitchell-Kirk

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Diverse Works Resonate in this Village

Works (and text in italics) by Helen Moore, glass artist.A Winged heart between body and soul
Flying for the love of God on wings of joy
Breaking free from the chains and barbed wire bullets
To the calm of the heaven blue beyond.

This piece is called the Tell Tale Heart, because when you look at all the symbolism that makes up each element it speaks for itself.
The heart is love, white is the colour of mourning purity and life. The poppy is the symbol of sacrifice, death, resurrection after death and renewal of life. Barbed wire is the graphic image of captivity, political violence and death. It is a wall without being a wall and it magnifies the distinction between inside and outside.


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When Sophia Elise of the New Zealand Art Guild accepted my invitation to join this project I was still thinking in terms of paintings. The logistics of transporting and displaying other works was in my "too hard" basket. I hadn't really thought about the extent of the networking of the NZ Art Guild, thinking only that Sophia seemed to be very effective at getting things happening for good causes. Soon I was getting emails asking if 3D art, glass art and sculpture was suitable. I wrote back asking for the stories connecting these artists to Cassino.

If there is one thing that I have come to believe in recent years, it is that anything is possible. Having read the stories, cried through the emails, and thought about the exhibition and the artists, I said "Yes, we will find a way". So, above you see a handmade lampworked glass heart, wrapped in Sterling Silver wire, and handmade lampworked glass beads, combined with hand sewn glass seed beads. (The artist had no way of knowing that around my house is barbed wire left when my house was a fortified German bunker and supply depot, or that the post-war stories for the family in this home were tragic ones).

I am amazed at the range of works coming together in Italy - but mostly I am thrilled at how the New Zealand media has taken the project to heart and made it possible for veterans and artists to connect. The shared stories and the family histories that are emerging, then merging in the artwork, are a part of what makes us a nation. We are only four million people, and with the support of the media connection is so much easier. Legato is a vehicle for communication, before anything else.

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