Mullumbimby Remembers Fromelles

“Forever Together” by Deborah Gower 15 July 2016 – 1 August 2016 at The Art Cube, Byron Shire Council Foyer, Mullumbimby

forever togetherErnest Austin Ainscow 1898-1917 When researching my family tree I discovered my father’s cousin a young Cairns lad man who enlisted in World War 1 Like so many young men Ernest died defending his country.  His was buried in Trois Cemetery in France – so far from his beloved Cairns.

His mother received a medal with one star for the loss of one son.  Of ancient sculptures dedicated to long forgotten wars and fallen soldiers, few remain intact and often limbs and heads are missing.  Bronze sculptures were popular and the two sculptures here symbolise Ernest and his sister Lucretia both scarred by the barbs of the war, but being held together by poppies – a symbol of remembrance.

This month the Art Cube is honoured to be exhibiting the work that inspired the “Once Lost Never Forgotten” seven week project in Fromelles France.  The Project takes inspiration from the battle of Fromelles and the efforts to identify some of the 5500 men who lost their lives in 24 hours on 19/20 July 1916 at that battle.  Through the gracious hospitality of Jean-Gabriel Masson Maire de Fromelles, my host families and the community of Fromelles I worked with descendants and school children to remember the ANZACs and develop artworks for exhibition.  Forever joined as allies through the events of the First World War, France and Australia have a shared history.

It is my honor to hold a reciprocal exhibition at the Ex-Services Club in Mullumbimby based on my experience in Fromelles.  The exhibition is held for the month of July 2016 to coincide with the 100th commemorative service of the Battle of Fromelles.

“Once Lost Never Forgotten – 100 Year Commemoration of the Battle of Fromelles France” by Deborah Gower 15 July 2016 – 1 August 2016 at Club Mullum Art Space, Mullumbimby Ex-Services Club, Dalley St, Mullumbimby

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“Once Lost Never Forgotten – 100 Year Commemoration of the Battle of Fromelles France” by Deborah Gower

What an honour it is to have a reciprocal exhibition from my artist residency in Fromelles France last year.  My thoughts and prayer are with my Fromelles Friends who are commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Battle Of Fromelles.

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My Exhibition in Mullum – “Once Lost Never Forgotten – 100 Year Commemoration of the Battle of Fromelles France” by Deborah Gower

15 July 2016 – 1 August 2016

at Club Mullum Art Space, Mullumbimby Ex-Services Club, Dalley St, Mullumbimby.

Special memories of my artist residency in Fromelles France last year.

Thank you to my Fromelles Friends, Mullumbimby Ex-Services Club and Anne Vanderbyl for sharing the information on Neil Penfold. A special thank you to Paul Smith for the video presentation.

“Once Lost Never Forgotten” was a seven week project in Fromelles France.  The Project took inspiration from the battle of Fromelles and the efforts to identify some of the 5500 men who lost their lives in 24 hours on 19/20 July 1916 at that battle.  Through the gracious hospitality of Jean-Gabriel Masson Maire de Fromelles, my host families and the community of Fromelles I worked with descendants and school children to remember the ANZACs and develop artworks for exhibition.  Forever joined as allies through the events of the First World War, France and Australia have a shared history.

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Welcome to 2016

Well its been some time since I have posted after an amazing 2015. France, Cairns Mullumbimby – exhibitions world wide and at home. I am sorting out my problems with my kiln – fingers crossed. A local welder is helping me out with the rust problem so with a bit of luck I will be back getting my fingers covered in clay very soon.

I am still curating the Art Cube at Mullumbimby Council Chambers.

“A Consumer’s Guide to Unobtainable Happiness” by Susan Gourley”
4 January 2016 – 1 February 2016 at The Art Cube, Byron Shire Council Foyer, Mullumbimby

susan gourley

And Club Mulum Art Space

Cool Cockies by Amanda Bromfield

4 January 2016 – 1 February 2016 at Club Mullum Art Space, Mullumbimby Ex-Services Club, Dalley St, Mullumbimby

cool cockyamanda debby

Wishing everyone an awesome 2016 and hoping you can see some of the amazing artistic talent we have in Northern Rivers during the year.

Debby xxx

 

 

 

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Trinity Beach Remembers

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Some more photos of the fabulous students from Trinity Beach State School writing messages for our fallen soldiers.

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Remembering with ST Andrews Catholic College

Some of the wonderful students from St Andrews Catholic School who wrote some heartfelt messages on crosses for our fallen soldiers. Australian War Memorial has received the crosses and they will be forwarded overseas to be placed on the graves of fallen soldiers.  Thank you so much to all the students who participated.

Debby xxx

 

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Remembering at Trinity Beach

When I was in Cairns I had the pleasure to visit Trinity Beach State School where some fabulous students wrote messages of Commemoration to our fallen soldiers.  The crosses were supplied by the Australian War Memorial

and will eventually be forwarded overseas to be placed on the graves of our fallen soldiers.  Trinity Beach is located near Cairns in North Queensland and I felt so welcome and shared such a wonderful afternoon with the teachers and students.

Thank you Trinity Beach – You will always have a special place in my heart.

Debby

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Discovering Ernest at the Cairns RSL until 9 August 2015

A huge thank you to the Cairns RSL Sub Branch for their generous opening of my exhibition.  I was honoured to be the first exhibitor at their new exhibition space and thank you so much to those people who came to see the exhibition.  What a fabulous night and more messages to our fallen have been inscribed on the Australian War Memorial Crosses.  Thank you to Cairns RSL Sub Branch, the Cairns Community, Lost Cairns and The Cairns Family History Society. A copy of my speech is below to give you an insight into the exhibition.  Debby  xxx

 

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Opening Speech – July 2015

Whilst researching my father’s family tree I discovered a second cousin Ernest Ainscow.   He enlisted in the first world war and died in France aged just 19 years old.

I was lucky enough to access letters Ernest wrote home to Lucretia nearly one hundred years ago. In 1916 he wrote

800 soldiers left Bells today. It was so hard to see them go away and not be able to go with them. It was a lovely sight to see them marching away with their colours flying… There were thousands of us on Rifle Range station and when the trains steamed out with us on, the band struck up with ‘Should Auld acquaintance be forgot’ and it sounded lovely, we got to town at around 2pm and had to wait until 3pm when the march started. You will find a piece of paper enclosed with the account of the march in it. I would have liked all of you to see it as it was a treat of a lifetime.

 Music was important to Ernest. Lucretia later became a music teacher at Hambledon State School and music inspired the Äuld Lang SYne” wall piece.

Letters inspired “Together Forever” piece as the busts are symbolic of Ernest and Lucretia forever joined together with the barbed wire of war and the poppy of remembrance.

Lucretia everywhere is looking lovely here now the fields are full of wildflowers such as daises violets and others. I’ll put a few in the letter. Percy Bonnet is in Watford hospital Kent with trench feet… I was cut out of the draft last week because my name got mixed up with the 30th battalion and I am out of this Tuesday draft because our tent is under isolation for mumps. I managed to get with the signallers again and if I do I might be able to get with Percy and go away with him..

Death and the Mothers medal with the one star for the death of her one son inspired the “Mourned” piece.

Together all the pieces form this exhibition “Discovering Ernest” and with thanks to the Cairns RSL Sub Branch we have this wonderful space to share Ernest’s story in this ANZAC Centenary Year.

And you can see how one story can be used to inspire a body of work that commemorates the sacrifice of one family and the effect on the Cairns community.

By putting a face to a name etched in stone on the cenotaph on the esplanade I have discovered Ernest and through him I have discovered other relatives, made new friends and discovered so much more about the history of cairns.

Thank you

  • Lyn, Regan and the Cairns RSL Sub Branch
  • New found friends and relatives, Lost Cairns , Cairns Family History Society
  • Tasman Spence for access to the memorabilia
  • Tanks Arts Centre for the residency accommodation in the botanical heart of Cairns
  • And to everyone here tonight for coming to Discover Ernest

And I hope you will join me in inscribing a message to our fallen on the crosses supplied by the Australian War Memorial. The crosses will ultimately be returned to the AWM and then sent overseas to be placed on the graves of the fallen.

Thank you

 

Debby

 

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