Sunday, 26 May 2013

Sapper Moore-Jones project

Known as 'Sapper Moore-Jones', Horace Moore-Jones was a New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) artist who served at Gallipoli. 1915

Possibly Australasia's most famous Gallipoli artwork, Sapper Moore-Jones' image of a man and his donkey has become both a New Zealand and Australian institution. It is recalled every Anzac day in both countries. Is it Simpson the Australian stretcher bearer or Henderson the New Zealand Stretcher bearer depicted in the painting? Does it matter any more? The painting has become an icon in both countries, capturing the Anzac spirit of camaraderie forged in battle. Can you think of a painting more celebrated in both NZ and Australia? Or one that has inspired as many reproductions or sculptures? I can't.  Sapper Moore-Jones painted five original versions of this painting, using a photograph he had taken of the scene at Gallipoli as a reference. (You can see my interpretation in bronze of the same theme on the 'Scrapbook' page on this site)

'Sapper' Horace Moore-Jones 'Private Simpson, D.C.M., & his donkey at Anzac', Watercolour, 1918

'Sapper' Horace Moore-Jones 'The Sphinx', Watercolour, 1915
Ironically, Sapper Moore-Jones painted very few figurative Gallipoli works. He painted very detailed topographical landscapes like this water colour, looking across the Sphinx rock feature out toward Suvla Bay in the distance. His field drawings at Gallipoli were used as Artillery target references as they would clearly indicate enemy positions. His amazing collection of Gallipoli water colour landscapes were sadly not purchased by the NZ Government after the War.  

'Sapper' Horace Moore-Jones, NZEFArtist, Galipoli, 1915

Today, I'm finishing the last details on this little wax sculpture of Sapper Moore-Jones.  This is a small scale statuette for a proposed full size statue and it shows the artist surveying his line of sight as he sketches an exposed ridge at Anzac Cove.  

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