The 2016 conscientious objection suite of 12 works completes the five suites of works commemorating 100 years since WW1 by Christchurch artist David Woodings. The first four suites comprised the exhibition ‘Somme/Silk Road’. The narrative behind this four suites of cards was a soldier sending ‘silk’ cards home to his Father, his Mother, his Sister, and his girlfriend. This series was exhibited in Hamilton in April/May 2016 (to commemorate ANZAC Day) and then at the QEII National Army Museum in Waiouru September 2016 (to commemorate New Zealand’s entry into the campaign in September 1916) and will hang till February 2017.

Based on the historical ‘silk cards’ of WW1 these 12 images would not have been actual cards and hold a more subversive message about those who for a variety of reasons chose not to serve their country during the WW1 campaign.

Each card, apart from Love to my Conchie Boy which approaches the issue of conscientious objection directly, is word or rhyme based and utilises the stitched embroidery of original cards whilst also accentuating colour, as Cowardy cowardy custard where the lettering is custard yellow, as is the yellow stitching of Yellow belly, the lettering for Chicken shit the green and white of foul droppings and in Pussy the flesh pink also includes a labia shape within the underline stitching. In other cards in the series Lily livered floats on a card of lilies and both Chicken shit and Pigeon hearted feature bird characters, in the case of Pigeon hearted, the New Zealand Kereru. The White feather card mirrors the standard design for a New Zealand imaged silk card of WW1 era except that the traditional silver fern is replaced by a similarly shaped white feather. To my dear coward takes on an image of revision with a replacement term ‘glued’ over the original stitching to reflect the cards ‘new’ sentiment. Gutless takes the form of a rebus puzzle.