28 November 2013
Hamilton City Council has approved a bronze statue of Sapper Horace Moore-Jones being gifted to the City by the Theatre of the Impossible Trust (TOTI).
The 3.5 metre high artwork by artist Matt Gauldie will contribute to commemorating the Centennials of WW1 (2014) and the Gallipoli Campaign (2015).
The artwork includes a bronze statue of a kneeling Horace Moore-Jones on a 2 metre high plinth. The plinth will be clad in stone, reflecting the harsh battlefield terrain of Gallipoli/Çanakkale.
The statue is called ‘The Line of Fire’ and will be located in the Victoria Street median near Sapper Moore-Jones Place. This is also the former site of the Hamilton Hotel where he died a hero saving others from a fire in the Hotel in April 1922.
The artwork includes a bronze plate relief of the ‘Man and the Donkey’ painting and an interactive camera displaying images of Gallipoli.
TOTI chair Dr Bill McArthur says the inclusion of an interactive viewing lens is a very special feature of the statue.
“Artist Matt Gauldie was chosen following a nationwide competition and local consultation. Not only did his concept have widespread appeal, there’s the extra factor that he is the current Defence artist and Moore-Jones was unofficially the first,” Dr McArthur said.
“This generous gift to the city from TOTI gives Hamiltonians an opportunity to learn about one of our local heroes and remember his important place in history. It is also worth celebrating the gift of more public art added to our city’s collection” said Her Worship the Mayor Julie Hardaker.
Council will maintain the work from the existing Public Art Maintenance Fund.
Horace Moore-Jones’ legacy comes from his Gallipoli works as well as his 1917 illustrated lecture tour. This brought his first-hand experience of the disastrous Anzac experience to the people at home and made him a national celebrity.
In 1914 aged 46 Horace Moore-Jones altered his age and appearance to volunteer for war with his battlefield mapping skills being highly valued. After being posted to the First Field Company of Engineers, Moore-Jones participated in the allied landing at Anzac Cove on the Gallipoli Peninsula in April 1915. He remained in the ranks and offered comfort to the sick and wounded while working as a field artist.
In 1916 he was wounded and while recuperating in Britain painted his Gallipoli series. He was repatriated to New Zealand, settling in Auckland and becoming a teacher. In 1918 he accepted the appointment as Hamilton High Schools’ first art master after being impressed by the City’s arts sector and the number of commissions he was receiving from locals.
The Theatre of the Impossible Trust (TOTI) is a charitable trust focused on commemorating Hamilton’s history including commissioning significant public artworks in Hamilton. http://www.toti.co.nz/
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