The best World War I exhibit I’ve ever seen is in Wellington, New Zealand, at the Museum of New Zealand – Te Papa Tongarewa.
Gallipoli: The scale of our war combines the historical accuracy of museums with the world-class creative artistry of movie special-effects house Weta Workshop to immerse the visitor in the eight-month Gallipoli campaign from New Zealand’s perspective.
The ground-breaking exhibition tells the story through the eyes and words of eight ordinary New Zealanders who found themselves in extraordinary circumstances.
Each is captured frozen in a moment of time on a monumental scale – 2.4 times bigger than human size.
Countless hours were spent researching the rich histories of the characters before a staggering 24,000 hours were invested in creating the giant sculptures, which are mesmerisingly lifelike – from the glistening saliva on a tongue to the arm hairs that realistically bend to your breath.
Cutting-edge technology was also used to create 3-D maps and projections, miniatures, models, dioramas, and a range of interactive experiences that bring New Zealand’s Gallipoli story to life.
In total, 2779 Kiwis lost their lives on Gallipoli, and many others were scarred for ever.
Gallipoli: The scale of our war takes you to the core of this defining event in New Zealand’s (and Australia’s) history – and left me emotional and awestruck.
I was also mightily impressed by the numbers of respectfully engaged young people going through the exhibit.
Check out this short film by Te Papa on the making of the giant statues…