Building Gallipoli – the install

In this Gallipoli: The scale of our war blog, Weta Workshop’s Rob Murphy talks about overseeing the installation of the exhibition.

Rob Murphy working on the large scale figure of Sergeant Cecil Malthus. Photo by Weta Workshop.

Rob Murphy working on the large scale figure of Sergeant Cecil Malthus. Photo by Weta Workshop.

I’d only been working at Weta Workshop for about eight weeks when the first pieces of the Gallipoli exhibition started to hit the floor and work their way into the woodworking department.

I still remember looking over the plans for the first time but I don’t think that at that point I had grasped the scale of work that we were about to undertake.

Map of exhibition layout. Photo credit: Te Papa and Weta Workshop

Map of exhibition layout. Photo credit: Te Papa and Weta Workshop.

From building the activity station, to putting the final touches on the Maheno hospital ship, I was beginning to get my hands on bits and pieces of the project.

Visitors explore the daily life activity station in the exhibition. Photo by Norm Heke, Te Papa.

Visitors explore the ‘daily life’ activity station in the exhibition. Photo by Norm Heke, Te Papa.

A visitor looks at the cut-through model of the Maheno hospital ship. Photo by Michael Hall, Te Papa.

A visitor looks at the cut-through model of the Maheno hospital ship. Photo by Michael Hall, Te Papa.

It was only when I began to see other elements of the exhibition moving through the workshop that I truly realised how extraordinary this project was and how it was a once in a lifetime opportunity, so I volunteered to head up the install team.

I’ll admit, at times the install was a challenge, what had taken nine months to construct on the workshop floor had to be installed at Te Papa in just six-weeks.

 The large scale uniforms. Photo credit: Weta Workshop.


The large scale uniforms. Photo by Weta Workshop.

The fibreglass bodies of the large scale sculptures. Photo by Weta Workshop.

The fibreglass bodies of the large scale sculptures. Photo by Weta Workshop.

With approximately 2000 individual elements to be deconstructed at the workshop, carefully packaged, transported and then re-constructed on site, we knew it would be an enormous task.

The large scale model of Sergeant Cecil Malthus nearing completion. Photo credit Weta Workshop.

The large scale model of Sergeant Cecil Malthus nearing completion. Photo credit Weta Workshop.

It’s now amazing to see all of the 2000 individually crafted pieces become together in one extraordinary exhibition and even though I’ve been close to it, I’m still moved by the beauty and the emotionality of the story that we’ve helped create.

You can find out more about the exhibition at www.gallipoli.tepapa.govt.nz

 

 

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