‘Falls the Shadow’ Commemorative Sculpture Installation
Sculptor Helen Pollock
Clay from the battlefield of Passchendaele with all that it contains and signifies was fused with rough unprocessed clay from New Zealand’s Coromandel to create this ‘forest of arms’ as a tribute to the tragic losses of young New Zealand men on the Western Front.
Following the initial exhibition of ‘Falls the Shadow’ to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Armistice November2008 at the Auckland War Memorial Museum, ‘Falls the Shadow’ was shipped to Belgium, by the Passchendaele Memorial Museum.
‘Falls the Shadow’ was first exhibited at the Passchendaele Memorial Museum from ANZAC Day 2009 to March 2010. The official opening ceremony, following a dawn commemoration service at Polygon Wood, was attended by a large audience which included representatives of Embassies and the Governor and representatives of the Regional Government of West Flanders.
‘Falls the Shadow’ was subsequently exhibited in the entrance foyer at the Carriere Wellington Memorial at Arras in France for a further 15 months.
‘Falls the Shadow’ has been returned to the Passchendaele Memorial Museum, for permanent installation as part of the new Memorial Extension that is currently under construction to commemorate the centenary of WW1.
The Official Opening of the new memorial is scheduled to be 25th April 2013.
The memorial theme expressed in ‘Falls the Shadow’, closely links with a further work created by Helen Pollock titled ‘Victory Medal’.
A platoon of larger than life pairs of feet is positioned on a rusted steel ‘medal’, ‘standing to’.
‘Victory Medal’ was originally installed in a gun emplacement at Fort Takapuna for NZSculptureonShore where it was used as a site for an NZRSA memorial service conducted by Passchendaele Society Vice President, Lt Col Rtd Chris Mullane.
It is intended this sculpture be reinstalled in New Zealand over the next four years acknowledging the immense sacrifices of the New Zealand Division in Belgium and France in WW1 and affirming the enduring ties between these countries, forged at that time.
Helen Pollock is a member of the Passchendaele Society. Her father was a signaller in Northern France and Belgium in WW1, and was part of the occupation force on Cologne after the war.