‘The Gallipoli Letter’ tapestry finished after 2,500 hours of weaving
A tapestry, which took 2,500 hours to complete and honours the sacrifice of the Anzacs, has been cut from a loom at a special ceremony in Melbourne ahead of the Anzac centenary.
The tapestry, measuring about three square metres, will be on display in the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.
The artwork Avenue of Remembrance was based on a piece by Australian artist Imants Tillers.
It was inspired by The Gallipoli Letter written by the late Sir Keith Murdoch.
As a young newspaper journalist, Sir Keith visited Gallipoli in 1915, and filed an 8,000 word private report, describing conditions on the battlefront.
“This letter changed the course of the war and is now one of the most significant items in the National Library of Australia collection,” Australian Tapestry Workshop director Antonia Syme said.
“It really outlined to the Australian and British prime ministers the extraordinary loss of life that was occurring because of British incompetency, and that really started to change the outcome of the war.
“The tapestry is a very beautiful and salient reminder and the Australian Tapestry Workshop was honoured to create this public art commission of national significance.”
The tapestry will be unveiled at the Australian War Memorial during the centenary commemorations of World War I this month.
Professional weavers sat side-by-side at a loom in South Melbourne working on the piece for more than six months to complete it on time.
Chris Cochius was the head weaver.
“We started weaving in October and we finished Friday,” she said.
“We were basically having four on the loom at any one time.”
It was an emotional experience for Ms Cochius.
“The word bereft is repeated three times in the tapestry”, she said.
“I actually wove that word all three times and by the time I wove it for the third time it became incredibly emotive, we were able to be caught up in the text.”