Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Food for thought from ANZAC biscuit exhibition

March 21, 2013

Food for thought from ANZAC biscuit exhibition

An art exhibition and installation of ANZAC biscuits to be staged in France offers real food for thought about the carnage and casualties of World War I.

Associate Professor Kingsley Baird from the College of Creative Arts, who is responsible for some of New Zealand’s best-known contemporary memorials, has created the artwork.

Mr Baird, who is based at the School of Art, has designed cookie cutters in the shape of able bodied and maimed soldiers from World War I.

Twelve differently shaped cookie cutters - depicting Australian, New Zealand, French and German soldiers – will be used to cut out ANZAC biscuits produced by French bakers.

The soldier-shaped biscuits will be used in an installation-performance by Mr Baird to make a three-metre long sculpture, called Tomb, at France’s leading World War I museum, the Historial de la Grande Guerre in Péronne, northern France in the three weeks preceding ANZAC Day. Upon completion of the sculpture in April more than 18,000 biscuits will have been baked for the artwork. It will then be exhibited till November.

The variety of cookie cutter shapes, depicting soldiers from four separate warring nations easily distinguishable by their headwear, is also a commentary on the shared carnage and loss wrought in Europe almost a century ago, Mr Baird says.

Each biscuit shape is reminiscent of a soldier statue memorial in a town square with the four nationalities able to be easily identified by the New Zealand ‘lemon squeezer’ hat, the Australian ‘slouch’ hat, and French and German helmets.

“Mutilated –armless and legless soldiers – and their ‘complete’ compatriots comprise the Tomb sculpture, Mr Baird says. The ‘mass grave’ of ‘soldiers’ and the ephemeral nature of the memorial express the monumental waste of war.”

The choice of ANZAC biscuit with which to depict the broken bodies of war was also a natural one to make given its long association with the army corps established in World War I.

“It has been claimed they were sent by wives to soldiers abroad because the ingredients do not spoil easily and the biscuits kept well during naval transportation. However, the combination of the name ANZAC and the recipe now associated with it apparently first appeared in 1921,” Mr Baird says.

The Tomb sculpture is based on the Stone of Remembrance designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and found in Commonwealth War Graves cemeteries. It is an expression of the ephemeral nature of memory, national identity, sacrifice and the waste of war; all key themes in Mr Baird’s longstanding research of memory and remembrance.

The exhibition coincides with research being undertaken by military historian Professor Glyn Harper who is part of Massey University’s contribution to the Centenary History of New Zealand in World War I, marking 100 years since the outbreak of the conflict.

The Centenary History will contain multiple volumes dealing with different aspects of New Zealand’s involvement in the war.

The Centenary History project will play a leading role in how New Zealanders remember World War I. It also shows the critical mass of research expertise the University has to offer in this area,” Mr Baird says. In 2004 Mr Baird designed the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior in Wellington, and three years earlier the New Zealand Memorial in Canberra with Wellington architectural firm, Studio of Pacific Architecture.

His latest work will be exhibited at a leading military museum in Dresden, Germany next year, 100 years after the outbreak of World War I.

The installation-performance Tomb is being staged at the Historial De La Grande Guerre in Péronne, Northern France from April 8-22, 2013 and the exhibition continues till November 24.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


No Soul: Soulfest 2015 Cancelled

It is with a heavy heart and great regret that SoulFest International Australia advises that it has become necessary to cancel SoulFest 2015 and the subsequent sideshows, due to low ticket sales in Australia and New Zealand. More>>

Time Of The Ensigns: Wellington City Council Flies The Flags

At noon on Monday the five flag options for the first referendum were hoisted over the Wellington Town Hall. The wind did not disappoint and the contenders for the new ensign contender spot flapped happily in a spring wind. More>>


13/10: 40 Years Since The Māori Land March Arrived At Parliament

Traffic into Wellington came to a standstill as thousands of Māori and Pākehā streamed along the motorway into the capital on 13 October 1975, concluding the Māori land march to parliament. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Before The Quakes

Remembering Christchurch: Voices from decades past: The Christchurch I lived in for my first 23 years was where four-year-olds walked alone to kindergarten, crossing roads empty of all but a couple of cars per hour. My primary school, Ilam, was newly built on a grassy paddock surrounded by rural land... More>>

6-11 October: New Zealand Improvisation Festival Hits Wellington

Wellingtonians will have a wide selection of improv to feast on with a jam packed programme containing 22 shows, three companies from Australia, two companies from Auckland, one from Nelson, one from Christchurch and seven from Wellington. More>>


Bird Of The Year: New Zealanders Asked To Vote For Their Favourite Native Bird

Te Radar, David Farrier, Heather du-Plessis Allan and Duncan Garner are just some of the New Zealanders championing their favourite native bird in Forest & Bird’s annual Bird of the Year competition, which kicks off today.. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news