The Morning Star tapestry, created to hang in the new Sir John Monash Centre in France, went on display at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne today.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Michael McCormack said the Morning Star tapestry commemorated those brave Australians who served on the battlefields of the First World War.
“Their stories and experiences are as important today as they were 100 years ago and must be shared with future generations,” Mr McCormack said.
“It will be an outstanding feature of the new Sir John Monash Centre.”
Designed by Australian war artists Lyndell Brown and Charles Green and created by a team of weavers, the Morning Star tapestry depicts winter dawn light illuminating a pathway through eucalypt trees and bush towards sunlight with inset images of young soldiers departing for war.
Arts Minister Mitch Fifield said the Morning Star tapestry was an outstanding work of art that showcased the Australian Tapestry Workshop as a world leader in contemporary tapestry creation.
“The work aims to evoke the experience of arriving at war, and in particular the Western Front,” Mr Fifield said.
“This significant contemporary artistic work took more than 4000 hours to weave and will promote Australia’s creative excellence and innovation on a world stage.
“The tapestry will provide a lasting legacy commemorating the 46,000 Australian lives lost in the battles of the Western Front in the First World War.”
Chief Executive Officer of the Shrine of Remembrance Dean Lee encouraged Victorians and all visitors to come to the Shrine to view the unique work of art in the wider context of commemorative spaces and extensive exhibitions about Australians in war and peacekeeping.
A number of organisations and individuals added to the Anzac Centenary Arts and Culture Fund, part of the Australian Government’s Anzac Centenary program, which provided $90,000 for the major work.
Following the exhibition at the Shrine of Remembrance, the tapestry will leave for France where it will be permanently displayed in the Sir John Monash Centre, which will be opened in Villers-Bretonneux, France in April.
The Sir John Monash Centre is the most significant legacy project of the Anzac Centenary Program and is designed to tell the Australian story of the Western Front battlefields of the First World War.
Victorian Senator Jane Hume said the Sir John Monash Centre would assist the increasing number of Australian and international visitors to the battlefields of Europe gain a better understanding of Australia’s contribution on the Western Front during the First World War.
The multimedia centre gives valuable insight into the Australian experience on the Western Front, through a series of interactive media installations and immersive experiences, Senator Hume said.
“Entry to the Sir John Monash Centre will be free, but bookings are strongly encouraged for peak periods around Anzac Day, the Centenary of the Battle of Hamel and Remembrance Day 2018.
The Morning Star tapestry will be exhibited at Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance until Sunday 25 February.