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Canberra Today 22°/28° | Tuesday, February 27, 2024 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

‘Droplets’ of marble express blood, sweat and tears

Alex Seton’s artwork, “For Every Drop Shed in Anguish”

AN unusual new contemporary artwork crafted in marble  has arrived for installation at the Australian War Memorial to represent the “blood, sweat and tears” of service people and their families.

Sydney artist Alex Seton’s artwork, “For Every Drop Shed in Anguish,” is made up of 18 “droplets” of marble, some weighing up to 3000 kgs.

While media were a given a sneak preview today, landscaping will follow and a public dedication will be held on February 22.

Seton, who is also featured inside the Memorial’s galleries with his 47 marble depictions of folded Australian flags, said the rounded and abstracted liquid forms, creating a field of marble droplets, represented every drop of blood, sweat and tears ever shed by Australian military personnel and their families.

Artist Alex Seton Photo: David Whittaker

“I chose the dewdrop form for its fragility and tension,” he says. “Every droplet has a particular shape, defined by its delicate surface tension, as if about to burst. But most importantly, when touched, these forms reveal themselves to have an inner strength and resilience that I hope can provide a promise of hope and healing.”

Memorial director Matt Anderson said staff had worked with a committee of veterans and families who unanimously selected Alex Seton’s proposal for this work, while the AWM’s project manager and senior curator of art, Anthea Gunn, said the artwork captured the complexities of suffering and war in “a different way of recognising the true cost of service”.

“The colours and crystals that form the marble represent the scars so many live with every day, but show them as something beautiful, a symbol of resilience… instead of a traditional heroic sculpture, this work is a contemporary abstract form that creates a place for people to engage through art with the lived experience of service,” Gunn said.

Members of the public may register here to attend the public dedication ceremony on February 22.

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Ian Meikle, editor

Helen Musa

Helen Musa

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