Nearly two-thirds of the 103,000 New Zealand servicemen who
served overseas in World War I went through the Featherston Military
Training Camp. Its establishment in 1916 was a watershed moment
for the nearby, burgeoning town of Featherston and the effect on
its history was indelible. The population of the area ballooned
fivefold and much of the industry in the township and its civic
life revolved around its connection with the military camp. One
hundred years later and there is little that publicly commemorates
this special relationship in what was a significant era of New
And so the germ of an idea was born to pay tribute to the town
and camp by way of a major piece of art in the heart of
Featherston. In 2014, a group of locals, historians and art lovers
formed a trust with the objective of making it a reality. Prominent
New Zealand sculptor, Paul Dibble, famed for his striking large
bronze and metal works, such as 'Southern Stand' in
London's Hyde Park, was approached. He responded with an
impressive and fitting concept for a tribute to the town's
relationship with the camp during the time of the Great War.
The sculpture consists of
ten floodlit, 4-metre high columns 'marching' westward over the
hill to Wellington as the newly trained reinforcements did where
they would embark for the Front. On one side the columns feature
soldiers and horses in bas relief. On the other side, the intention
is to depict a range of names, places, letter excerpts, images and
symbols that connect Featherston to the camp. We will need help
from the community to source these. The spaces between the pillars
symbolise the interweaving of the camp's activities with the town
and they will allow viewers to interact with the sculpture and
become part of what it signifies - as did the people of the town a
century ago. The sculpture will be a world-class artwork and we
believe it will be a substantial enhancement to the townscape, a
great treasure for locals and a drawcard for visitors.
We have been humbled by the support and enthusiasm from a wide
range of indivduals and organisations so far… but there's still
much to do. The effort to commission and install the sculpture has
achieved the status of an official WW100
project and part of New Zealand's First World War Centenary
Can you lend your support? Are you a descendant of someone who
passed through the camp or was from Featherston during that period?
Are you connected with Featherston? Do you support the belief that
New Zealand should not forget its past?
Donate and help realise a major piece of public art of local,
national and international significance that will stand as an
enduring monument to those who passed through the camp and the role
that the townsfolk of Featherston played during World War I.
Thanks to our wonderful donors we're almost there with 3 days to go!
25 MONTHS AGO
It's been heartwarming to see the support for our project and our Boosted campaign. We are now very close to achieving our goal of $10,000 and another step closer to seeing our sculpture installed in Featherston. Keep up the good work in spreading the word about our project! Thank you to all our wonderful donor partners.
Thanks to 34 Donors' wonderful support we're nearly there!
25 MONTHS AGO
With 9 days to go we want to thank our generous 34 donors. We
have 72% of $10,000! A big thank you to all who have donated. If we
don't reach our target all donations are returned to the donors, so
let's share the Featherston Camp Sculpture project with all our
friends and ensure our target is reached or, even better,