The true heart of war service will be reflected in a Western Bay Museum exhibition in Katikati to commemorate the centenary of Armistice Day.

Those Who Served is a collection of 25 original pastel charcoal sketches by New Zealand artist Geoffrey Fuller.

The exhibition opened this month in commemoration of the centennial of Armistice Day and will stay open until February 2019.

Western Bay Museum manager Paula Gaelic said this will be the first time Fuller's works have been publicly displayed.

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"It is a privilege to have the honour of showcasing them," she said.

The sketches of New Zealanders in both World War I and World War II portray the human story of war as well as the genius of warfare as it was fought in the air and at sea.

The works follow the soldiers through Gallipoli, Flanders, the Northern Frontier, the Greek Campaign and Battle of Crete, to the Desert Campaigns in North Africa, the War in the Pacific, the Campaign in Italy and many battles at sea and in the air.

The drawings have been donated to Katikati Open-Air Art by the Fuller and Clarke families and are a tribute to the time, dedication and talent of Geoffrey Fuller.

Western Bay Museum staff have carefully ensured each work was framed and mounted to the highest specifications to protect against atmospheric damage.

Gaelic was immensely proud of the standards set by the museum and said such meticulous care ensured the museum established itself on the national stage for exhibitions such as Those Who Served.

"Western Bay people should be really proud of this museum because we do things properly. I can't make people love museums but I can encourage people to come here and see what we do," she said.

Gaelic and Steve Graveson from Katikati Open Air Art sourced $22,000 to fund and produce the exhibition.

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Funding came from Katikati Open-Air Art, Bay Trust, Katikati RSA Homewood Trust, Katikati Rotary and the Western Bay Museum.


Who is Geoffrey Fuller?

Geoffrey Fuller (1925-2011) was an artist across many mediums and his works included postage stamp designs for New Zealand, Niue, Tokelau Islands and the Ross Dependency in Antarctica. His many artworks are held in private and public art collections around the world.

Fuller already has a connection with Katikati. He was commissioned in 1992 by Katikati Open-Air Art to create the mural in the Main Street depicting Ossie Openshaw's 1930s garage. The 18-square metre mural is on the same site of the original garage.