Postcard paintings a mission for mum

19:56, Aug 17 2014
Linda Bullard
WORK OF ART: Timaru artist Linda Bullard with artwork she has painted based off an old book from World War I that was passed down through the family.

A small hand-made book, in the possession of a Timaru family, has a holy past that goes back to World War I.

The 15cm wide by 23cm long book, is in the safe hands of Timaru's Linda Bullard and her son, and she has been inspired by its history.

"The book or bible is small and handmade and it is beautiful. It is dark green and each page has a coloured postcard with alpine scenes on them and a hand-written scripture from the bible beside each card," Bullard said.

The bible's history goes back to her children's great-grandfather.

"James Russell, (the great-grandfather) fought in Gallipoli for the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, where he acquired the bible. He came to New Zealand some time in 1922 and he was a coal miner and he lived and worked on the West Coast of the South Island.

"The story goes that he found the bible in the trenches and when he was injured (stabbed in the butt with a bayonet) he was taken to hospital to recover. With him he took the bible and a couple of other keepsakes. All but the bible were stolen from him while recovering in hospital."

Bullard's intention is to paint the postcards illustrated in the book to honour the children's great-grandfather.

"It would be a shame to have something so beautiful hidden away." She is most moved by one particular biblical scripture.

"Only take heed lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen."


The Timaru Herald