National Army Museum, Waiouru, New Zealand : Military History & Army War Museum

Artist Kingsley Baird Explores ANZAC Identity

In his latest works titled The Anzac Pair, Wellington-based visual artist Kingsley Baird explores ideas surrounding ANZAC identity and mythology. 

Gallipoli (pictured extreme right) and Birth of a nation (extreme left) on display in the museum’s Medal Repository.

The Anzac Pair form part of a long-term research project by the artist titled Odyssey, in which mythological, historical, and contemporary visual narratives of conflict are composed within the ‘settings’ of bronze First World War helmets and other headgear. These works explore and reveal connections between the past and present as well as the inception and maintenance of national mythologies and national identities. The Anzac Pair comprises two sculptures, Gallipoli and Birth of a nation. Both are meant to be interpreted against a backdrop of the formation and sustenance of Anzac mythology and its recent re-visioning.

The Anzac Pair is currently on display in the museum’s Medal Repository.

For more on these works see The Anzac Pair exhibition catalogue containing essays discussing the sculptures by distinguished historians Ian McGibbon (New Zealand) and Peter Stanley (Australia) and the artist. The catalogue will be available for sale at the museum gift shop.