THE GUARDIANS: WWI Western Front to Resettlement
Three culturally divergent communities commemorate World War I Western Front battles and concurrently build the ANZAC legend.
THE GUARDIANS: WWI Western Front to Resettlement examines cross-cultural similarities when commemorating war. The Granite Belt, Australia and regional areas of northern France and Belgium are geographically half a world apart. However, the dedication of people in these communities to commemorate the involvement of Australians in World War One (WWI) links them. There are armies on both sides of the world determined to stop the erosion of memories, the environment taking back from the monuments and memorials, and the eroding sense of serious commemoration in the face of a massive battlefield tourism machine storming through European villages.
Louise Grayson regularly journeyed from the Australian Pikedale WWI solder settlement community, which was established around towns named after Western Front battlefields (Pozières, Amiens, Fleurbaix, Bullecourt, Passchendaele, Bapaume and Messines), to the same places in France and Belgium. The resulting images highlight cultural and economic similarities between people from the three countries, during the course of centenary years 2014 - 2019. The project is informed by a belief that it is timely to acknowledge and focus upon intercultural similarities to end feelings of hostile segregation between cultures.
The body of work explores the contemporary battle to avoid the erosion of The Digger legend through the concepts of:
This, initially personal, project by Louise Grayson was later picked up by a number of Governments and Community groups who funded two major exhibitions of the work in addition to the publication of a large coffee-table styled book, as part of WWI Centenary commemorations in Australia and Europe.