As of today… (detail)
2011-18, 43 sculpted flags in marble with halyard,
ART96049.001 – ART96049.043
Alex Seton’s As of today… series forms a sculptural monument which powerfully commemorates all the Australian soldiers who have lost their lives while serving in Afghanistan.
The work stems from Seton’s interest in flags, and highlights the manner in which they operate as symbols of community and shared national aspirations. As of today… focuses on the motif of the ceremonial folded flag that is often draped over the casket in a military funeral service and then presented to the family of each fallen soldier.
As an “act of dedication” to these men, Seton has created 43 marble versions of a folded flag, each with a halyard tied around its centre. Each flag is sculpted in Australian marble and represents a specific individual and a life lost. The whole series is intended to raise awareness of these men’s sacrifice.
Much of the power of the sculpted flags resides in the way their pale marble form, slightly pink in hue, evokes the flesh of a human body. But by presenting a flag in marble rather than fabric, the artist has located these objects, and the men they represent, within a history of ancient monuments related to civilisation and war.
The anonymous nature of the individual flags highlights the quiet humility of service and sacrifice.