Featherston Camp Sculpture Trust

Featherston Camp Sculpture

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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 Zealand's history.

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 programme.

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.

UPDATES

  • Thanks to our wonderful donors we're almost there with 3 days to go!

    19 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!

    20 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, exceeded!
    http://featherstoncampsculpture.org/

    Thanks to 34 Donors' wonderful support we're nearly there!