Featherston Camp Sculpture

Sculpture of nine slanted columns representing soldiers and their horses marching

Sculptor Paul Dibble's striking Featherston Camp Sculpture was unveiled in Fitzherbert Street on 10 November 2018. Funded by the Featherston Camp Sculpture Trust, the sculpture consists of nine slanted columns which represent First World War soldiers and their horses marching from Featherston Military Training Camp through Featherston towards the Rimutaka Ranges before embarking from Wellington. The Featherston camp, New Zealand's largest First World War training camp, was opened on 24 January 1916, and housed as many as 8,000 soldiers at a time.

Soldiers and their horses are depicted in bas-relief on one face of each column; on the other face are texts accompanied by pictorial symbols (the first text reads: "Featherston Camp was New Zealand's largest military camp during the First World War, where around 60,000 young men trained for military service on European battlefields between 1916 and 1918.")

The sculpture has similarities to Dibble’s New Zealand memorial, ‘Southern Stand’, which was unveiled in Hyde Park, London, in 2006. However, the Featherston structure is not intended as a memorial in itself, but to commemorate the camp's and the town's places in history (it thus contrasts to the town's other memorials: Featherston Camp memorials; Featherston cemetery First World War memorial; Featherston First World War memorial; Featherston First World War memorial hall).

See: 'Sculpture to reflect camp's connection to Featherston', Wairarapa Times-Age, 9/2/2015, p. 4; 'Fading camp history restored by public art'Wairarapa Times-Age, 18/6/2018; 'Camp sculpture to be dedicated', Featherston Phoenix, vol. 23, no. 9, November 2018, p. 1; 'Timely unveiling for memorial sculpture', Wairarapa Times-Age, 10/11/2018, p. 8; '$600,000 WWI sculpture on display in central Featherston'Dominion Post, 10/11/2018.

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