A significant number of my ancestors (10 first cousins, two of whom did not return) from the Motupiko Valley fought with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in campaigns on Gallipoli and the Western Front.
The trace of these men exists in archival records; war photographs, familial oral histories, military history sheets. Of course, we cannot truly know these men, but within an exhibition an alliance forms between the artist’s narrative voice and the viewer’s encounter.
Beyond Measure comprises softly dyed, suspended muslin strips, the closest possible textile match to the original First Field Dressing bandage material. It alludes to soldiers’ injuries, and notions of protection and caring. It also speaks of the impossibility of protecting all wounds – the unavoidable loss of life, and the psychological damage from prolonged trench warfare.
Rebuilding memories from archival fragments, the work does not judge, blame or glorify, it simply remembers.
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