We are pleased to launch Art of Remembrance News. Please come back for updates.
Please join for a very memorable
hour of remembrance
St David’s Memorial Church
(New Market Side)
70 Khyber Pass Road
Monday 24 April 2017
6pm sharp – 7pm
RSVP – contact@RememberThem.nz
Download invite in pdf
New Zealand Herald, 11 September 2016 – “New memorial to commemorate those who served in WWI” – by Dionne Christian.
The organisers of a record art fundraiser, which raised $1 million to save an historic soldiers’ church in Auckland, are celebrating a new achievement.
Hundreds of pure brass quatrefoils, similar to those used in The Art of Remembrance fundraiser at St David’s Church in Grafton, will feature on a new memorial outside the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
Te Pourewa Whakamaharatanga, The Tower of Remembrance will commemorate soldiers and nurses who served in WWI and also honours St David’s Church on nearby Khyber Pass. It will be unveiled at a private ceremony on the morning of Tuesday, September 20 – 100 years to the day after Sergeant James Rankin, 28, of the New Zealand Field Artillery, was killed in action at the Somme in Northern France.
The Mt Eden resident also served at Gallipoli and his family, including parents John and Margaret, worshipped at St David’s where his name is listed on its Roll of Honour.
New York-based New Zealand artist Max Gimblett has made the quatrefoils. Last year, he produced around 10,000 which featured in The Art of Remembrance and, from April to July, formed a shimmering golden façade on historic St David’s, also known as the Soldiers’ Church.
They were then sold to raise money for the possible restoration of the church, built after WWI as a memorial to members of the congregation who served overseas. The $1 million from their sale and donations is believed to be a record amount raised through art for any cause in New Zealand history and may also represent the largest single donation ever made to a cause by an NZ artist.
Mr Gimblett, 80, who grew up in Grafton and attended services at St David’s, bases each quatrefoil on one of seven designs and hand screen-prints them onto pure brass. Each one is about the size of a soldier’s outstretched hand. A small number are on permanent display at Te Papa in Wellington and in other collections of national significance.
Gold discs have been installed on the St David’s Church to commemorate the 100,00 New Zealanders who served overseas in WWI. Photo / Nick Reed
Paul Baragwanath, spokesperson for the Friends of St David’s Trust, says support came from all over New Zealand and the world as businesses, organisations and individuals bought the brass quatrefoils -similar in shape to an ANZAC poppy – as permanent “artworks of remembrance”.
Auckland War Memorial Museum’s director of collections and research David Reeves says the St David’s fundraiser was inventive and eye-catching. Because the museum is always keen to find new ways to tell stories and display objects, it wanted to find a way of using the quatrefoils on its own site.
“As a war memorial museum, we are always interested to see the different ways that communities commemorate the centenary of World War One.”
Te Pourewa Whakamaharatanga, The Tower of Remembrance will stand for five years and then a decision will be made on its future. Mr Reeves says it is a separate memorial to one planned by Auckland Council on the north side of the museum.
In the meantime, the demolition of St David’s now looks less likely than a year ago when the Friends had just $250.
“To launch The Art of Remembrance project, we borrowed or were donated $150,000 and, 15 months later, we’re left with $1 million after all the expenses,” Mr Baragwanath says. “It is more than double the amount any other art project as ever raised in NZ history and goes to show art in service of heritage, memory and of this generation for the next.
“Art has changed St David’s story from bleak to bright, and it is likely a good part of St David’s future will be in service of the performing arts. St David’s has already served for nearly 100 years and has much to offer future generations in a variety of capacities, fulfilling its roles both as a church and as one of the country’s major war memorials.”
But, the Friends still need a further $6 million toward seismic strengthening and restoration.
• Auckland Council and the museum hold the Somme Commemoration on Thursday morning to mark the centenary of New Zealand joining the Battle of the Somme. The fighting lasted 141 days, but it was the bloodiest battle of the First World War with more than four million troops involved and one million casualties. New Zealand Division joined the offensive in mid-September with 15,000 men, suffering 6000 casualties and more than 2000 deaths.
Radio NZ, 30 July 2016 – “Church saved after massive fundraising effort” – by Tom Furley.
A million-dollar fundraising effort looks to have saved an old inner-city church which a year ago was being considered for demolition.
St David’s Church was built in 1927 but it now meets less than 30 percent of building code requirements.
The Presbyterian church was looking to knock down Auckland’s 90-year-old St David’s Church, after they were unable to cover the cost of restoring it.
The church, which was built in 1927 as a soldiers’ memorial church, meets less than 30 percent of the building code requirements and with a small congregation was closed by the Presbyterian church in December 2014.
But hope has been restored after supporters of the church stepped in.
A national fundraising campaign was launched last Anzac Day as part of the country’s First World War commemorations by the Friends of St David’s Trust.
Painter Max Gimblett and Arts Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry.Painter Max Gimblett and Arts Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry. Photo: Jessica Chloe Photography
A major part of the effort came from the New York-based New Zealand artist Max Gimblett who gifted thousands of brass quatrefoils which were hung on wires and then used them to cover the church in an art installation.
Around 10,000 were later sold off to raise money.
Friends of St David’s Trust spokesperson Paul Baragwanath said just over a year ago the trust had just $250.
“It’s been quite a journey. Just over a year ago we had 250 dollars in the account and we now have a million dollars. What that means is effectively we’ve turned that ship around and the future of St David’s is looking pretty good.”
He said Max Gimblett’s donation was the largest in New Zealand history and the $1 million was the largest fundraised through an art project in New Zealand history.
“Thanks to a great gift by Max and thanks also to tens of thousands of volunteer hours we’ve reached this milestone.”
Mr Baragwanath said while the cost of restoring the church was much greater, they had to show the Presbyterian church that there was a desire and will that the church should stay open.
“What it means is that St David’s future is looking bright. Having a million dollars enables us to support the owners of St David’s and to protect it for current and future generations.
“Obviously we have several more millions we need to find but we’re quite confident that that is going to come. It’s just a matter of letting people know what we’re doing and we’re pretty sure people will come on board and support the vision,” said Mr Baragwanath.
The vision is to restore the church and expand its use to serve more of the community and become a heart for the city.
He said the quatrefoils had sold all over New Zealand but also overseas and had joined the collections of the War Memorial Museum and Te Papa.
“I think that the art works captured people’s imaginations. They were so very beautiful, they heard the story of the Soldiers Memorial Church and they wanted to support it. They wanted to remember this time of commemoration of World War One.
“So I think there are all sorts of reasons why people supported but I think a key part of it is because they wanted to support St David’s and see that it has a future for our country.”
New Zealanders have raised $1 million through art sales and donations in response to a national fundraising campaign launched on Anzac Day last year as part of country’s commemorations of the First World War.
This is believed to be a record amount raised through art for any cause in New Zealand history and possibly also represents the largest single donation ever made to a cause by a New Zealand artist. New York based New Zealander, Max Gimblett ONZM gifted thousands of the Remembrance artworks, each based on one of seven designs hand screenprinted onto pure brass.
The million dollars raised, net of all costs, is available to assist with the possible restoration of St David’s Church, built in Auckland’s Khyber Pass Road in Grafton following the First World War, as a memorial to members of the congregation who had served overseas and known as “the Soldier’s Church”.
The Minister for Art, Culture and Heritage, Hon Maggie Barry, was one of a number of speakers at an event at the church today (eds Sunday July 24) to announce the total amount of money raised, and called on her broadcasting skills to interview Max Gimblett as the centrepiece for the public function.
On Anzac Day last year, the Gimblett quatrefoils formed a shimmering golden façade to the historic St David’s Church in one of the most dramatic art installations ever seen in New Zealand, before being sold to homes across New Zealand and abroad,and going on display at Te Papa museum in Wellington.
The project has formed a key part of New Zealand’s WWI commemorations, which are overseen by Minister Barry, and raised public awareness of the potential of inner-city St David’s to play an expanded role in the Auckland community.
Paul Baragwanath, spokesperson for the Friends of St David’s Trust, says support came from all over the country as New Zealand businesses, organisations and individuals purchased the brass quatrefoils –somewhat similar to the shape of an ANZAC poppy – as permanent “artworks of remembrance”.
“This has all been made possible by the incredible generosity of Max Gimblett, who donated these artworks to us at no cost and whose international reputation as a New York based Kiwi artist has helped drive local and international sales,” said Mr Baragwanath.
Mr Gimblett (80), who received the ONZM last year, grew up in Grafton and attended services at St David’s during the ministry of The Very Rev Owen Baragwanath. The artist’s Auckland representative, Gow Langsford Gallery, donated all its commission to the cause and the St David’s congregation made the brick church available for the major art installation on its façade.
TENS OF THOUSANDS OF VOLUNTEER HOURS KEEP COSTS DOWN
Mr Baragwanath says project costs have been kept to a minimum through New Zealanders donating their time and skills for a cause which has caught the public’s imagination as New Zealand continues to observe the centenary of the 1914 –18 war which made such a big impact on the country and touched many families.
Representatives of the Government, Auckland Council, Waitemata Board, iwi, the New Zealand Defence Force, RSA, New Zealand Sappers, and the Auckland community attended functions at St David’s as the campaign progressed and descendants of Cyril Bassett, the only New Zealander to be awarded a Victoria Cross at Gallipoli, were presented with a symbolic quatrefoil by current VC holder Willie Apiata. Bassett was a Sapper and married on the site of St David’s in 1926 – a year before the Memorial church was built and dedicated to his comrades.
The Kamo Brick and Oamaru Stone St David’s Church, built in 1927 contains magnificent leadlight, memorial windows recognising the service of office bearers, soldiers and church mission involvement. It needs earthquake strengthening and restoration before it can play an expanded role in the community.
“St David’s has already served for nearly 100 years and has much to offer future generations in a variety of capacities, fulfilling its roles both as a church and as one of the country’s major war memorials, said Mr Baragwanath. “Discussions about a potential expanded role which St David’s and associated land and buildings could play in the local community, if sufficient funds are raised, are already under way with the Presbyterian Church.
From the support our initial campaign has received, it seems this would be a very popular outcome with Aucklanders.”
Issued on behalf of the Friends of St David’s Trust 24/7/16. For further information or comment, please contact Mr Baragwanath on 021 521 574.
Radio NZ, 23 July, by Andrew McRae, Veterans’ Affairs Reporter.
An exhibition, which has adorned the outside Auckland’s St David’s Church for the last three months in honour of those New Zealanders who served at Gallipoli and in other First World War battles, comes to an end tonight.
The Art of Remembrance is by well known artist, Max Gimblett, ONZM.
He created thousands of solid brass quatrefoil to represent each New Zealand soldier that served.
A quatrefoil is an ancient Christian cross and Max Gimblett crafted each one to the size of a soldier’s outstretched hand.
It took three months to install the pieces onto the outside of the church, which is also known as the Soldiers’ Memorial Church, and it was unveiled on 24 April – the eve of the centenary of the Gallipoli landing in 1915.
With the exhibition coming to an end, each brass quatrefoil will be sold off as part of a fund-raising campaign to help preserve the historic church.
The Friends of St David’s Trust hopes the sale of the quatrefoil will be bought as permanent reminders in people’s homes and offices of the New Zealanders who served in all wars.
Trust member Paul Baragwanath said the building was an Auckland treasure.
“It’s part of the city’s history and of particular importance to our soldiers for almost 100 years.”
He said the church needed to be preserved.
In tonight’s ceremony formally closing the art installation there will be a link between today and the past.
This country’s only living recipient of the Victoria Cross, Corporal Wllie Apiata VC will present one of the quatrefoil artworks to the descendants of the only New Zealander awarded a Victoria Cross at Gallipoli, Cyril Bassett VC.
In August 1915, the Aucklander received the VC during the briefly successful allied assault on Chunuk Bair the highest point on the Gallipoli Peninsular.
Mr Bassett’s grandson, Mark Bramwell, will receive the quatrefoil on behalf of Cyril Bassett’s family.
Also tonight, Opotiki school student Caitlin Papuni-McLellan, the winner of the Cyril Bassett Memorial Award will deliver her speech which won her a trip to Gallipoli for Anzac Day this year.
Please join us!
Sunday 24 July 3pm – 4pm
70 Khyber Pass Road
Grafton, Auckland, New Zealand
A rare opportunity to meet celebrated New-York based, Grafton born artist Max Gimblett ONZM – and to hear about the record-breaking success of The Art of Remembrance project, and the single largest donation by an artist in New Zealand history.
The Art of Remembrance launched as a site-specific art installation of golden Max Gimblett quatrefoils on the walls of St David’s – the WWI soldiers’ memorial church – on ANZAC Day 2014. These commemorative artworks have since captured imaginations from Kaitaia to Invercargill and overseas, and are also held in New Zealand’s museum collections.
All welcome (please RSVP), afternoon tea will be served, dress warmly.
Gold coin donation please to help the cause to restore St David’s!
On ANZAC Day 2016, following the Dawn Service at the Auckland War Memorial Museum, people from all walks of life gathered to Remember Them. And to pay their respects to the Soldiers’ Memorial Church that was built soon after WWI, so that we would never forget.
A Friend of St David’s, Audrey van Ryn, played the flute, and those present laid a flower of Remembrance.
A very special ceremony captured in these images.
Lest we forget.
Paul Baragwanath, curator and director for The Art of Remembrance project will talk about this inspiring and fascinating project at Friends of Te Papa on Thursday 28 April 2016, 6pm – 7:30pm.
For more details about the talk and to book your ticket please visit Friends of Te Papa Website.