When the RSL Sub-Branch identified a need to repaint the four military faces at Memorial Park, secretary Christine McIlvain knew exactly who to call. Local artist, Sue Hodge received the call and excitedly set about reviving the figures.
The paintings, which are featured on floor tiles around the cenotaph, are of unknown origin despite the Sub-Branch’s bests efforts to uncover their history. The images depict various military personnel and a WWI nurse.
“The tricky thing is that the previous painting was etched in the concrete, so I had to work with what was there and make it realistic. It was quite naïve art,” said Sue. “We wanted the faces to be realistic and somber-looking. We do not rejoice about war, but it is important to remember the lives lost for our country. I wanted to capture the solemnity of war.”
Sue did just that, using bright pastel shades around the faces to ensure “the people stick out.”
The project was financed by a grant from the NSW Government and Department of Veterans Affairs, facilitated by Christine from the RSL Sub-Branch. Cabonne Council assisted the project by fencing off the area.
“Captured history is very important,” said Sue, clearly proud of her role in preserving a small slice of Canowindra history. “My husband is very interested in wars. He says war brought the best and worst out in people and it is good to know those stories so that we can bring the best out in us.”