In the week leading up to Remembrance Day on November the 11th, PATO will be featuring various memorials to Canada’s valiant war heroes.
The main element of the Lum’s piece is the 3D depiction of the streets of Ortona. According to war historians, the streets were so narrow in the medieval town that fighting was particularly brutal, with soldiers going house to house, using mouse-holing as a means of engaging the enemy. Houses in Ortona shared a common wall, so mouse-holing involved climbing to the top floor of a captured house, blowing a hole through the shared wall and then fighting your way down to the bottom floors to clear the house. The soldiers then repeated the process with the next house.
The collateral damage was extensive, something that Ken Lum doesn’t shy away from. You do not have to look closely at the 3D printed sculpture you can see piles of rubble in city squares, collapsed walls and what appears to be a destroyed church dome. Photos taken by Canadian artist Charles Comfort were used by Lum as inspiration for the sculpture. The piece is low to the ground, allowing you to take in the full extent of the damage. Lum specifically designed it so that your eyes would be downcast whilst viewing, encouraging introspection while making his work accessible to all ages.
And No Birds Sang is the title of Farley Mowat’s book describing his experiences in the Italian Theater during World War II.