‘It is wonderful to be able to write this little piece for Jamie’s updated website as we had the great pleasure of asking Jamie to work with our team at Weta Workshop on a very special project in 2014.
We were invited to join our National Museum (Te Papa) to conceptually design and implement a unique exhibition that would celebrate the hundred year anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign, a major military event in New Zealand’s history.
At the core of our exhibition is the acknowledgement of 7 men and one woman (out of the many thousands of New Zealanders that served in this war) and to give them the authority, pathos, emotion and intent that would commemorate their actions. We devised to sculpt and manufacture these figures at 2 ½ times life size to exacting photo realism.
With only 8 months to achieve the project, and a significant amount of work to be undertaken, we realised early on that we would not be able to achieve the entire workload with only our sculptors here at the workshop. We therefore approached Jamie to ask if he would consider joining us in Wellington for a few months and to sculpt one of these figures. Jamie readily agreed and a mere weeks later turned up and perfectly melded into our team. He undertook to sculpt one of the Maori battalion, a powerful character called Friday Hawkins. Friday’s friend and fellow soldier, Rikihana writes in his diary of how Friday Hawkins takes up the machine gun and begins firing on the enemy but is badly injured, having been shot in the wrist and is incapable of staying at his post. Jamie was tasked with capturing the fierce moment of defiance and emotion that must course through any soldier’s veins as they face an enemy with a near certainty that they may lose their life. We wanted Jamie to capture the very unique qualities of a Maori warrior captured in the moment of battle – chin thrust forward, eyes fiercely staring, body powerfully supporting the weapon, in this case a machine gun.
Needless to say Jamie did a beautiful job and this figure sits central to our largest diorama containing three soldiers and the giant mechanised gun. It was a terrific experience having Jamie in the workshop with us and bringing with him a wealth of experience to the team which he so willingly shared. We can only hope we can instigate a project of similar proportion containing the opportunity to sculpt figures at a giant scale so that we can once again invite Jamie down to our workshop in NZ and join us for another round of wonderful sculpture and art.’
Founder, Weta Workshop
"We are the proud owners of two of Mr Salmon's works. The first we bought "off the shelf" so to speak, and the second we commissioned when we had lived with the first for a while. Both pieces continue to be among our favorites. The are a recurring source of happiness for us. Visitors are especially impressed with Mr Salmons mastery of the hyper-realistic human form. We regard the pieces as quasi family members-much to the distress of our out-of-the-nest children. We are quite sure that any other present and future owners of Mr Salmon's pieces will be as proud of and happy with them."
Irene and Victor Zion
- Regarding the work "Halmonie"