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Exhibition 2005, Cassino, Italy

Tracciando L’Ombra- Tracing The Shadow

Kay de Lautour Scott

Kay de Lautour Scott was born in Wairoa, New Zealand, and is the daughter of a WWII veteran. She visited Cassino in 2001, attended the 2004 60th anniversary commemorations at Cassino, and returned with her father, Eric de Lautour, 25th Battalion (Africa) and Div Sigs 18th Armoured Regiment (Italy), to spend several weeks in the Ciociaria region later in 2004. This collection of work is the result of that time spent in Italy, and honours those who fought in WWII at Montecassino. To read about this trip please click here or visit http://www.dalvolturnoacassino.it

To view images please return to Gallery

When quoting from any of the following text please reference in the following manner:
de Lautour Scott, J Kay (2005). Tracciando L’Ombra. www.version, Artist Exhibition Catalogue, Morrinsville, New Zealand. Available at www.kayscott-artist.com

…every time an action passes there is a memory
and thereafter the memory is about the memory of the action.
And slowly we have this fine silt, the stuff we call history.
Michael Shepherd, New Zealand Artist.

Visiting a war cemetery is a privilege: a time for reflection, remembrance of historical events, and contemplation of the legacy of war.

Reinterpreting this legacy a generation later, I use my photographs as source material, filtering these images through memories much-edited by soldiers, historians and time.

I am a generation removed from this war. I see only the traces in the landscape and the lives of the people 60 years on. Just as memory edits and reconstructs history, so I pare back and reconstitute my image. Images are manipulated, overlaid, printed, painted, assembled, sanded, glazed, lovingly worked until they become a personal simulacrum, holding only shadowy traces of the reality of war.

The red flower known as the Flanders Poppy has been associated with death on the battlefield since the Napoleonic wars. There it was noted that the poppies were the first plant to grow over the graves of soldiers. This link was recorded in poetry during WWI when Canadian Medical Officer Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae (1872-1918) wrote In Flanders Fields.

Inspired by McCrae’s poem, Miss Moina Michael (1869-1944) of New York campaigned successfully to have the red poppy adopted as the national symbol of remembrance. This was formalized by the American Legion in September 1920. Subsequently, Frenchwoman Madame E. Guérin established groups to manufacture artificial poppies to raise funds for the widows and children of war veterans. She and her supporters promoted the adoption of the red poppy as the international symbol for peace. The first official “Poppy Day” was Armistice Day, 1921.

Tracciando L’Ombra (2005) Cassino War Memorial, Cassino, Italy.

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