Autumn is more keenly felt in April with shortening days and leaves showering down in the wind. The Corokia in the garden are producing red berries and cherry guava are starting to ripen. All my artworks seem to be full of leaves at the moment. I have been working on small paintings on wood for Corokia Studio and taking time to remember and reflect this month.
April 25th is ANZAC day, the anniversary of the landing of Australian and New Zealand troops at Gallipoli in 1915. It is the date when Australia and New Zealand commemorate all their people killed in war and honour those who have served in overseas wars. One does not have to look too far into the family history of many New Zealanders and Australians to discover just how profoundly these wars affected families and the terrible losses that were sustained. My great uncles served in World War II. In Canberra some years ago I visited the war memorial and found the name of the one who did not return home. So this month I remember him and all the others who did not return to their fair homelands.
I remember Gallipoli was a strangely peaceful place but scarred with trenches and the memories and stories of immense bloodshed. The Turkish historian who guided my group was extremely knowledgeable and a day with him was like reading an entire book on the topic. The older New Zealanders I met on that journey were wonderful, after a long time away and travelling alone at that point it was a joy to spend time with them and share a meal together. I feel very fortunate that I had the opportunity to visit Gallipoli and the surrounding area.
Indigo Garden, acrylic on wood.
Dawn service, Whangarei
Orchard, acrylic on wood.
This one is still in progress, as yet untitled.