Dunedin sculptor hopes to promote peace with a war piece.
Stephen Mulqueen leaves Dunedin today on a three-month tour
of the United States, Canada and France to research the
origins of the poppy.
''Everyone thinks the poppy is an Anzac thing now and I
wanted to go deeper into the narrative around the poppy.
''It's a seminal symbol of the 20th century,'' he said.
Mulqueen began crafting brass poppies, ''Poppies of War and
Peace'', in 2002 and has received $15,000 funding from a
Fulbright Award and Creative New Zealand to research the
The poppies are made from .303 cartridges used in World War 1
and World War 2 and 5.56 and 7.62 Nato rounds from the
Korean, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Many of the shells were collected from battlefields,
including Flanders Fields.
''They are commemorative poppies crafted from the debris of
war. I transform a brass cartridge shell into a personalised,
wearable object,'' Mulqueen said.
''The poppies have grown out of my travels, curiosity,
workshop practice and several years of refining. How we
remember and commemorate are important to me.
''As we move towards the centenary of the Great War,
''Poppies of War and Peace'' offers a very real connection to
the collective memory of the human carnage that scarred so
much of the world during the 20th century.''
While in the United States, he will hold seminars on the
history of the poppy.
''I'd like to get a group of veterans making my poppies. The
project would be owned and organised by the veterans. That
would make a real contribution,'' he said.
Mulqueen's poppies are referenced in a recently published
history of the poppy, The Poppy, by English historian