For you’ is a 4m high Aluminium sculpture designed by Artist Meg Geer. Meg was commissioned to create a complimentary piece to interact with her Spirit Orb, the 2015 Eumundi Sculpture Prize-winning sculpture, which sits on the hill in Eumundi Memorial Park.
“I wanted to create a work that spoke directly to the Spirit Orb but didn’t replicate the meaning. Usually, war memorials are very somber, commemorating the lives of those who were lost. After creating a few ideas in this vein I really started to think about what do I want to say with this work. What is it that I think about when I attend memorial services, what did these fallen soldiers do, and how has it impacted my life? If one of the soldiers or nurses were standing in front of me right now, what would I say?
My generation is probably one of the first, in Australia at least, who have not directly experienced war in a local, daily-living way. Our sons, boyfriends and husbands are not being drafted, bombs are not being dropped on our workplaces. We live in a comparatively safe country, where our freedoms are respected. Those we know who have been to war have passed on or don’t talk about it much. The memory of the horrors of war are not strong in my and my daughter’s psyche and it fades even more with each generation born into this lucky country.
Thinking over these things made me feel like a child who can see that the adults are sad and wants to do something to help them feel better. To let them know they are appreciated. That was how the idea for the Poppy Girl was born. It is me, it is all of us, those who the past generations were fighting for, in all our child-like innocence, simply holding up a flower to say thank you - We are filled with gratitude for the peaceful life we lead and we know things could have been different if you didn’t fight for those freedoms. We see you and we thank you."
And so the little girl offers her poppy, symbolizing her understanding, to the soldiers on the hill and all those who fought beside them. She stands proudly, hair blowing in the wind, conjuring up the feeling of joy and freedom we are blessed to enjoy here and also the joy people must have felt when the armistice was announced 100 years ago. She is the child they were fighting for; she is all of us.
What gesture can new generations of Australians,
who have never experienced the ravages of a world war in their daily lives,
possibly make that will convey the depth of gratitude we have for the life we enjoy today?
It is with the naivety of a child that we approach the soldiers on the hill,
not with heads bowed but looking them directly in the eye,
and say with all our hearts - Thank you:
Thank you for the innocence we possess because yours was stripped by unspeakable horrors,
Thank you for the freedoms we enjoy that you were forced to fight for,
Thank you for sacrificing your peaceful hearts to violence so that we may live in peace.
Thank you. With our deepest and most heartfelt gratitude.
This is ‘For you’.
Collaborative Partners: The Blacksmiths Rosemount, Eumundi Historical Association