Somewhere in France ...1917
Granite, marble, wood, anti-conscription badge, engraved text, goldleaf. Made in 1991 and 1994. Dimensions: 37 x 47 x 29 cm
The figures of the soldiers is based upon the famous photograph by Frank Hurley of Australian troops walking along the edge of a rain-filled crater towards the front line, taken in 1917. Postcards home by soldiers could not state place names: "Somewhere in France" was all that was allowed. The agonising war bogged down, with nothing but rising casualties. Back in Australia, there was a campaign against the government's attempt to introduce conscription, using the slogan: "Fight as free men not as conscripts". This campaign succeeded.
An original badge is glued onto the front of the sculpture ...
This 'everlasting stone' is a memorial, recalling the power of contemporary media with the three elements mentioned: an iconic photograph, an anti-conscription badge, and the officially approved place name.
This sculpture was shown in the solo exhibition Only Emotion Endures at Australian Galleries in Sydney in 2008. The Australian War Memorial was approached, and were interested in acquisition but "don't have any funds".
As usual, as long as the artist is happy to give their work for free, all's good.