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

 

Illuminating and commemorating WWI for the modern era

For the first time in nearly a century, a collection of significant World War I lantern slides belonging to the University of Canterbury (UC) is freely available for the public to view.

Designed by the UC Arts Digital Lab, the new Illumination and Commemoration website showcases the digitised lantern slides depicting the construction of New Zealand’s five WWI battle memorials overseas. Featuring an online database and digital exhibitions, the open-access website highlights the work of the architect of the memorials, Samuel Hurst Seager (1855–1933), who was appointed by the New Zealand government in 1921.

Seager made the lantern slides from photos he took while overseeing the memorials’ construction between 1921 and 1925. (Lantern slides are projection media made with glass that are projected using a magic lantern, which is the precursor of the digital projector.)

The slides contain rare images of the battlefield memorials at Chunuk Bair in Turkey, Longueval and Le Quesnoy in France, and Messines and Gravenstafel in Belgium. After his return to New Zealand, Seager used the lantern slides in a nationwide lecture tour to show how New Zealand’s involvement in each of the five battles had been commemorated.

“The images are important records of New Zealand’s first state-sponsored, post-war commemorative project overseas, and reveal how each memorial was constructed,” says project leader and UC Arts researcher Laura Dunham.

The war memorial slides were discovered in Seager’s collection of around 4,000 lantern slides, which has been held by the University’s Art History and Theory department since he gifted his collection to Canterbury College (now UC) in 1928, she says.

In addition to being one of New Zealand’s most celebrated architects, Seager, who is a UC alumnus, was a lecturer in the University’s School of Art for 24 years, and served on the board of governors from 1910 to 1919.

“A consistent theme that emerged throughout the project is how Seager’s methods of visual communication were used to increase New Zealanders’ engagement with artistic forms of commemoration after the war – a campaign that he continued beyond his retirement in 1927,” Ms Dunham says.

In the late 1920s, he also worked on the designs for the memorial to Prime Minister William Massey and the Citizens’ War Memorial, both in Wellington.

Illumination and Commemoration, produced in collaboration with the UC Arts Digital Lab, enables people to view the lantern slides as objects, as well as the images they contain, to show how viewers would have originally seen them in the 1920s.

The collection was digitised as part of the UC Art History and Theory department’s Illumination and Commemoration project, exploring how the memorials and the lantern slides functioned in New Zealand’s climate of ongoing commemorations during the first decade following WWI.

The website includes three digital exhibitions, which provide an overview of each memorial’s development. Each digitised lantern slide is free to download under a Creative Commons license. The 18-month project was funded by a grant from the Lottery Grants Board and supported by Canterbury 100.

Illumination and Commemoration can be viewed at www.seagerlanternslides.nz.

Caption: One of Samuel Hurst Seager’s lantern slides, showing the sculptural centrepiece of the New Zealand battle-exploit memorial at Le Quesnoy, in France, on the day of its unveiling on 15 July, 1923.


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Friend Ship Tour Docks In Wellington

A sense of local pride was certainly running high at the Opera House on Saturday night, as the lads ran through a tasty little set drawn mostly from their latest album Friend Ship (splash out for Xmas on the shocking pink extra-thick vinyl edition). More>>


Howard Davis: Avantdale Bowling Club

Auckland rapper and MC Tom Scott brought his stunning jazz-infused Taite Music Prize-winning project Avantdale Bowling Club to the Opera House headlining Wellington's 2020 Jazz Festival. More>>

Howard Davis: Kevin Field Quintet

With the hardest pews in town and an icon of Ruth Bader Ginsburg adorning the walls, St Peter's Church added a distinctly spiritual element to the debut of three new pieces by Kiwi jazz pianist and composer Kevin Field that celebrated our common humanity. More>>


Howard Davis: Three New Art Books for Xmas

Massey University and Te Papa Presses have published three new art books just in time for Xmas: Dick Frizzell's Me, According to the History of Art, Railways Studios, celebrating unique examples of government-sponsored advertising and design, and Nature - Stilled, Jane Ussher's extraordinary photographs of flora and fauna from the museum's natural history collections.
More>>

Howard Davis: Troy Kingi Rules The San Fran

The award-winning Northland musician performed songs from his new record The Ghost of Freddie Cesar, the fourth installment in his 10/10/10 series - ten albums in ten years in ten genres. More>>

Stage: Wellington’s Theatre Awards To Go Ahead

The Wellington Theatre Awards will go ahead despite a devastating year for New Zealand’s creative sector. Wellington Theatre Awards Trust Chair Tom Broadmore said, “the creative sector, and Wellington’s vibrant theatre sector has been gutted by the ... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland