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David Guerin

Doctor of Philosophy, (Visual & Material Culture)
Study Completed: 2020
College of Creative Arts


Thesis Title
Re-shaping a First World War Narrative: A Sculptural Memorialisation Inspired by the Letters and Diaries of One New Zealand Soldier.

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

This creative practice PhD research is concerned with sculptural memorialisation inspired by the unpublished letters and diaries of a First World War New Zealand soldier, Alfred Owen Wilkinson. Mr Guerin’s research proposed that miniature sculptures may be used to negotiate between the actual and the fictional to memorialise the experiences of this soldier. A series of fictional speculations that could be described as being ‘based on a true story’ are manifest in the miniature sculpture’s ‘compressive’ capabilities that make the unimaginable scale of the conflict’s landscape comprehensible. The sculptural process and the interpretation of the nine miniature sculptures exhibited at NZ’s National War Memorial Hall of Memories were examined. Related miniature sculpture war memorialisation practices were reviewed and the distinction between this research and other works was established.

Distinguished Professor Sally Morgan
Professor Kingsley Baird