Ex­hi­bi­tion dif­fer­ent way to mark Ar­mistice Day

Otago Daily Times - - DUNEDIN - DAVID LOUGHREY

AN ex­hi­bi­tion in Dunedin to­mor­row will pro­vide a dif­fer­ent way to mark Ar­mistice Day, its or­gan­is­ers say.

‘‘Ar­mistice Day 11.11.18’’ will fea­ture the works of sculp­tor Stephen

Mulqueen, who died in

June aged 64.

Mulqueen’s well­known work in­cluded his re­design of the view­ing plat­form on

Mo­tupo­hue

Bluff Hill, and his Kuri/Dog work on the har­bour­side near the Otago Yacht Club, ex­hi­bi­tion co­or­di­na­tor Stu­art Grif­fiths said.

But much of his out­put in re­cent times had re­lated to the com­mem­o­ra­tion of World War 1.

Mulqueen’s in­ter­est started with re­search, vis­it­ing Flan­ders and pho­tograph­ing what he saw, as well as ex­plor­ing bat­tle­field and com­mem­o­ra­tive sites.

‘‘He felt that 100 years on there re­ally needs to be an­other way of ex­press­ing what that was about.’’

Rather than memo­ri­al­is­ing, Mulqueen had been more in­ter­ested in the emo­tive side of the event.

The body of work he de­vel­oped around those ideas was ‘‘prob­a­bly the most sig­nif­i­cant body of work made by any artist in the coun­try that I know of’’, Mr Grif­fiths said.

‘‘It re­ally be­came his to­tal fo­cus of the last four years.’’

Mulqueen was also an early driv­ing force be­hind the Archibald Baxter peace memo­rial, which is to be built on a Dunedin City Coun­cil re­serve at the in­ter­sec­tion of Ge­orge and Al­bany Sts af­ter the pro­posed site was changed a num­ber of times.

The ex­hi­bi­tion, which in­cludes in­put from other artists, came about as it was felt Mulqueen would have done some­thing for Ar­mistice Day if he was still alive.

Athenaeum owner Lawrie Forbes sug­gested the build­ing’s base­ment as a site to hold the ex­hi­bi­tion.

Or­gan­is­ers ap­proached the Mulqueen fam­ily, and were loaned items from their col­lec­tion.

The ex­hi­bi­tion in­cluded some of Mulqueen’s ear­lier work.

‘‘We’ve pulled to­gether a lot of rem­nants of his prac­tice.

‘‘We re­ally thought it would be well worth­while cel­e­brat­ing Stephen Mulqueen’s life as a sculp­tor.’’

Con­cern­ing the ex­hi­bi­tion’s open­ing time of 11am, Mr Grif­fiths said there would be ‘‘an­other ex­pe­ri­ence hap­pen­ing down at the [Queens Gar­dens] ceno­taph, which is prob­a­bly a dif­fer­ent type of ex­pe­ri­ence than the one that will be hap­pen­ing here.’’

The two events were ‘‘not op­po­sites, just a dif­fer­ent way of re­flect­ing’’.

PHOTO: CRAIG BAXTER

An­other per­spec­tive . . . ‘‘Ar­mistice Day 11.11.18’’ co­or­di­na­tor Stu­art Grif­fiths with Sniper’s Prayer, one of sculp­tor Stephen Mulqueen’s works, at the Athenaeum build­ing in the Oc­tagon.

Stephen Mulqueen

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