Blood sweat and tears set in stone at Australian War Memorial

The Australian War Memorial will host a dedication ceremony for a “meaningful” contemporary artwork For Every Drop Shed in Anguish on Thursday 22 February 2024.

The Memorial commissioned the artwork in consultation with veterans and their families who have experienced or witnessed service-related trauma.

The sculpture by Alex Seton is made up of 18 unique droplets of marble, some weighing up to 3,000 kgs, which represent the blood sweat and tears shed by those affected by their service and their families.

The Director of the Australian War Memorial, Matt Anderson, said, “Since its inception, the Australian War Memorial has been a place to honour and remember those who died in war or on operational service.

“This meaningful sculpture is hoped to provide a physical space and place to recognise those lives that have been impacted by military service.”

The Memorial’s Project Manager and Senior Curator of Art, Anthea Gunn, said the artwork captures the complexities of suffering.

“This is a different way of recognising the true cost of service,” Dr Gunn said.

“Instead of a traditional heroic sculpture, this is a contemporary abstract work (or installation) that creates a place for people to engage through art with the lived experience of service.”

Ben Farinazzo, who suffered as result of his service in East Timor, was part of the stakeholder committee advising the Australian War Memorial during this project.

“This sculpture honours the strength of our veteran community, while acknowledging those who have suffered physical and psychological wounds, and sadly those who have taken their own lives as a result of service,” he said.

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