Te Papa and Weta Workshop open ground-breaking Gallipoli exhibition

April 2015

A ground-breaking national exhibition opens at Te Papa on 18 April, to mark the centenary of the First World War.

Gallipoli: The scale of our war combines the world of museums with the world-class creative artistry that Weta Workshop is renowned for, to immerse you in the sounds, sights and emotions of the war,” says Te Papa Chief Executive Rick Ellis.

“This is an exhibition that every New Zealander should see.” The exhibition cost eight million dollars to develop and deliver and will run for four years. Entry is free, thanks to a $3.6 million contribution from the Lottery Grants Board.

Gallipoli: The scale of our war has been created by Te Papa working closely with Weta Workshop. The top secret creative treatment was revealed today for the first time.

Eight New Zealanders and their stories are brought to life on a monumental scale. The figures of seven soldiers and a nurse are frozen in a moment in time, at 2.4 times human scale.

Exhibition Creative Director and founder of Weta Workshop Richard Taylor says he and his team were determined to create something unique to commemorate Gallipoli through their collaboration with Te Papa.

“In collaboration with a large number of amazing Wellington companies we have worked together with the team at Te Papa, to commemorate the people involved in this war in a way that will hopefully create a heighted awareness and leave a lasting and impactful memory of this most important of events in New Zealand’s history.” Weta Workshop spent more than 24,000 hours creating all eight figures, along with the associated exhibition elements of their lives and stories, including countless hours researching their rich histories.

Lead curator Kirstie Ross of Te Papa says the exhibition challenges certain myths around the eight month Gallipoli campaign.

“Our job as historians and curators is to uncover the human stories, and not shy away from the tough realities.”

Exhibition Historical Director Dr Christopher Pugsley believes the exhibition will help shape people’s views on the Gallipoli campaign.

“This exhibition will determine how New Zealanders remember the Gallipoli campaign for the 21st century.”

In addition to the monumental figures, cutting edge technology has been used to create other visitor experiences including 3-D maps and projections, miniatures, models, dioramas, and a range of interactive experiences.

Find out more about the exhibition at gallipoli.tepapa.govt.nz, including behind-the-scenes videos showing the creation of the exhibition.

Te Papa acknowledges the generous support of our sponsors and contributors for this exhibition: Lottery Grants Board, Wellington City Council, WW100, HP, Ricoh, Panasonic, NZSO, Innovative Travel, and Singapore Airlines.

Media contacts

Rachael Bruce
029 601 0010

Kate Camp
029 601 0180

Biographies of key characters featured in Gallipoli exhibition (4.76 MB)

Making of Gallipoli: The scale of our war (389.47 KB)

Biographies of key Gallipoli exhibition creators (5.71 MB)

Map of Gallipoli: The scale of our war exhibition (1.69 MB)