Cultural Icons

Conversations with iconic people

Episode56

Helen Pollock

“I am very interested in what happens between memory and silence”

Preview / 00:01:10

Full Episode / 00:34:48

In This Episode

In this episode Cultural Icon Rodney Wilson speaks to sculptor Helen Pollock. They discuss everything from her early years as an artist through to the epiphany which led to the creation of “Falls the Shadow” a powerful sculptural installation made to commemorate the massacre at Passchendaele (Belgium) where 900 New Zealand soldiers lost their lives. The sculpture was made mixing Coromandel mud with that from the battlefield at Passchendaele brought to New Zealand as excess luggage by former Prime Minister Helen Clark. The piece was exhibited at the Auckland War Memorial Museum in a project initiated by Rodney Wilson and is shortly to become a permanent feature at the Memorial Museum of Passchendaele 1917.

Helen speaks candidly about some of the memories of her father, a signaler in World War I, and the meticulous research she conducted around that period of history and the silence that surrounded it. She unravels some of the fears and memories that have accompanied her work, and in a way discovers her place within the discourse of New Zealand history.