A visual arts exhibition by artist Rebecca Holden acknowledging the role of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles in the Middle East.
Sand in the Apricot Jam is a visual arts project aimed at acknowledging the role of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles in the First World War. This visual arts project was first exhibited at Expressions Art Centre in Upper Hutt in 2014, where Rebecca created the majority of the artwork on site.
The intention of the onsite project and resulting exhibition is to be as inclusive of the local community as possible – from the local owners of horses who allow Rebecca to sketch their horses, to young men who volunteered to pose for the painting, from the visitors to the gallery who are welcome to discuss the art work and topic with the artist, to the school groups that visit and create their own work of art in response to this project.
The theme of the work looks at the role of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles in the Middle East Campaign, as well as their contribution at Gallipoli. Rebecca's grandfather served with the Auckland Mounted Rifles and was wounded at Gallipoli. He returned to serve with his regiment in the Sinai and Palestine until the end of the war.
The work is comprised of four large scale panels each spanning 3 metres horizontally. Each representing a different aspect of the desert campaign.
The progress of the artwork and notes relating to the research around this project are featured on Rebecca's blog.
Taking Sand in the Apricot Jam to Israel
Rebecca Holden has been invited to exhibit Sand in the Apricot Jam at the Museum of Rishon LeZion in Israel later this year.
The significance of the invitation to exhibit at the Museum of Rishon LeZion reflects the historical connection between New Zealand and Rishon LeZion. The NZMR received a warm reception by the Jewish inhabitants of Rishon LeZion when they liberated the village from the Ottoman Turkish army after the Battle of Ayun Kara. In recognition of this Rebecca will be creating a new work to be exhibited in Israel along with the existing works that form 'Sand in the Apricot Jam'.
The exhibition would take place over the month of November 2017. This scheduling is aimed to coincide with the centenaries of the Battle of Beersheba (31 Oct) and the Battle of Ayun Kara (14 Nov), both within modern day Israel. The battle near Rishon LeZion, known as The Battle of Ayun Kara, was one of the most significant battles in which the NZMR fought in the then Palestine.
Rebecca is seeking funding opportunities or assistance of any kind to cover the costs of taking her exhibition and herself to Israel. Between the 17 February and the 28th March Rebecca is running a crowd funding campaign with PledgeMe in order to raise funds to cover the costs of the exhibition in Israel.