New Zealand Memorial, ANZAC Parade, Canberra, Australia
Winner Open Competition 1997 (realised 2001-2002)
In collaboration with the sculptor Kingsley Baird, Studio Pacific won an international competition to design this memorial to commemorate the close relationship between Australia and New Zealand.
Woven from solid bronze, the final sculpture, representing the handles of a kete rising from the earth, was inspired by the Māori proverb “māu tēnā kīwai o te kete, māku tēnei”, which translates loosely as “you at this handle, I at this handle of the kete”. The sculpture is a metaphor for cooperating, working together, sharing experiences and, in wartime, sharing the load of losses. Each handle signifies one country, with the kete itself, figured as the plane of the ground, both separating and connecting the two. Eight bronze niho niho or triangular teeth at the base represent the emerging rim of the basket, strengthening the link between the handles and the ground. The text of Jenny Bornholdt’s specially commissioned poem is cast into the niho niho.
The paving beneath the handles is also significant, with the eastern side bearing a Māori design and the western an Aboriginal design. The pavers chosen for the memorial are from New Zealand and Australia respectively and are laid on their respective sides of the memorial. The centre stone on the eastern side is granite taken from the Coromandel Peninsula and is placed over soil taken from Chunuck Bair, where New Zealanders fought at Gallipoli; a piece of Australian granite similarly covers soil from Lone Pine, where Australians fought.
A ceremonial opening of the new memorial, conducted by the prime ministers of both countries, took place on Anzac Day in 2001.
Client: Ministry of Culture and Heritage, New Zealand