The Shrine and its sculpture: An exhibition exploring the sculpture of the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne, 2007.It was while researching the work of the sculptor Gilbert Ledward (see Output 1) that I discovered the papers of Paul Raphael Montford (1868-1938) who emigrated to Australia in 1923 and who was responsible for many commemorative works throughout Victoria. One of several incremental outcomes from this research, this exhibition examined how the sculptor’s letters and photographs shed new light the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne (1922-1932) placing emphasis on the collaborative process of making public art and the commemorative demands of inter-war communities. The Melbourne exhibition considered and contextualised the sculpture outside and inside the Shrine of Remembrance by way of letters and photographs loaned from the Montford family in Britain and sculptures. It also included sculptures by Montford loaned from collections Australia.
The exhibition, and the essay published to accompany it, takes forward research for the chapter '‘‘The Returned Soldiers bug': making the Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne’ Nicholas Saunders and Paul Cornish (eds.), Contested Objects: Material Memories of the First World War, (UCL Press, 2008). It also included ideas developed in my article ‘The Place of Photography in the Life and Work of Paul Montford,’ Sculpture Journal vol.15, no.2, (2006). Above all, the exhibition explained vividly the production and politics of making sculpture. The texture of Montford’s professional and private papers, together with related sculptures, offer a compelling view into an artist’s process and reveals much about wider working methods and environments, themes underpinning Output 1 and Output 3.
From January to April 2005, I was based at the Australian Centre, University of Melbourne Australian Centre funded by an Australian Bicentennial Fellowship from the Menzies Centre, King’s College, London, and a research grant from the British Academy and the University of Brighton Research Support Fund. During my stay I presented a seminar jointly hosted by the Australian Centre and the School of Art History, University of Melbourne. This research has also been presented as part of the University of Sussex, History of Art Department graduate seminar series, and as papers at the Imperial War Museum/UCL ‘Material Culture and the Great War’ conference, the 2005 Imperial War Museum ANZAC conference, the British Australian Society annual conference, Lincoln, and to the Inter-war Rural History Research Group.