Artists to commemorate the fallen sought

A search is on for artists to produce work commemorating Wakatipu people who died in wartime.

While the Queenstown Memorial Hall undergoes a $3.1 million upgrade, ideas for memorial art are being sought from Massey University in Wellington.

Returned and Services' Association Queenstown president Dave Geddes said a professor at the school of visual and material culture, who has produced memorial sculptures both nationally and internationally, has given ideas and further contacts.

Artists had been sought locally, through advertising, and at the closing date of July 27, six expressions of interest had been received.

However, they did not meet the requirements.

"When we looked at them, they were quite artistic in nature," Mr Geddes said.

Something more specific was sought, he said.

In its former state, the memorial hall displayed a large cross on an outside wall and this gave the impression it was a church, he said. The roll of honour displayed inside had mistakes and showed only the service people from Queenstown.

It would be replaced by a larger roll with the names of all men and women from Wakatipu who died in the wars. This would acknowledge the disproportionate number of Wakatipu people killed and "bring them all together in the hall".

However, finding the right artists was not proving easy.

"It's been very difficult, as we have discovered, finding people who have the vision and skills to put this thing together.

"It's not helped by the fact that we are in Queenstown and most of the people are further north."


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