Te Aka Mauri is fortunate to have been lent 2 quilts made by Tracey Shepherd to commemorate the end of the First World War.
The first of these is titled Toward the Light. ..When you study this quilt you can see at the bottom the blood stained, barbed wired waters and beach. This was created by dyeing the fabric. The dull colours speak of the war-scarred ground, burnt out trees are visible. Parts of this quilt are created using old war uniforms. You can see a pocket with the blood-stained lace of his wife/sweethearts handkerchief which he carried close to his heart to remind him of home. The fabrics lighten as they rise to softer browns, and pale greens. Eventually fields of poppies, under which so many lay, appear, followed by the blue yet stormy looking sky, symbolising the end of the conflict and beginning of peace.
The second quilt, Forgotten Son, is more personal. In the upper half of the quilt is a fabric photograph of Jesse Rogers, the great uncle from Oamaru who headed off to WW1. Again, the colours of the ground hold images of conflict along with scattered poppies. Again, pieces of army uniforms and lace are used. To the right is Jesse’s oak tree. Jesse was killed 3 months before the end of the war and is buried in France. The town of Oamaru planted an oak for each of the local soldiers who perished in WW1. Underneath each tree is a cross with the soldier’s name.
These quilts will are on display on the 2nd floor of Te Aka Mauri, near the Discovery Space/ Heritage and Research area for the month of November. Please come and view the quilts and other items, such as old newspapers announcing Armistice, that are also on display.
Thanks to Tracey Shepherd for lending the quilts for display. This post is by Trish.