A memorial artwork to commemorate the 100,000 New Zealanders who fought in WW1 will be brought to life this Anzac Day thanks to the generous efforts of Kiwi companies like Hirepool.
The company has donated specialist equipment allowing thousands of brass poppy-shaped ‘quatrefoils’ to be installed on the exterior of the historic St David’s Church on Khyber Pass Rd, Auckland.
They will cascade their way down the church’s imposing tower and onto the surrounding grass, in a manner similar to the acclaimed Tower of London art installation which featured over 800,000 bright red ceramic poppies late last year.
New Zealand’s own artistic tribute has been devised by celebrated painter Max Gimblett who grew up in Grafton and used to attend St David’s church. He is now based in New York and his artworks hang in galleries all over the world.
Hirepool’s general manager of sales and marketing, Gary Richardson, says the idea is a moving way to commemorate Anzac Day and the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign.
Almost 7000 brass quatrefoils (which are also a symbol of peace and new life) will glow and shimmer in the light over the next three months, creating a magnificent display against the aged red brick and Oamaru stone of St David’s.
“It will look spectacular and Hirepool is honoured to have been asked to help make this project possible,” Richardson says. “I wouldn’t be surprised if images of the display go viral around the world, just like the Tower of London’s poppies did. It looks beautiful but is a sombre reminder of how many people gave their lives in WW1 for our freedom.”
Hirepool has donated one of their large self-propelled articulating booms which can reach a height of 25m (84ft). That has allowed the delicate installation process to occur over the past week. The entire project will be unveiled at a special ceremony this Friday 24th April, on the eve of Anzac Day.
“Hirepool has been part of the New Zealand business community for nearly 60 years. We’re always keen to support good causes and show our national pride and we can’t think of a better way to do that this Anzac Day than by helping bring this wonderful idea to life,” Richardson says.
The memorial artwork has been organised by the Friends of St David’s Trust, who are raising money to restore the war memorial building. St David’s is also known as the ‘Soldier’s Memorial Church’ and its foundation stone was laid on Anzac Day in 1927.
Each glimmering quatrefoil is the size of an outstretched human hand and 100,000 of them have been made in total. The trust plans to sell them for $80 each, with discounts for RSA members and Gold Card holders. It’s hoped the quatrefoils will end up in homes, art galleries and museums across New Zealand and overseas at the end of the installation period.
“Hirepool really hopes New Zealanders will get in and support this wonderful initiative also,” Richardson says. “Each quatrefoil commemorates, with gratitude, those who died for us on WW1 battlefields. Together, we will remember them.”