Preserved Freedom

Preserved Freedom mural

Oil on canvas, 1956

600cm(h) x 420cm(w)
On display, Memorial Hall (main entrance) Lower Hutt War Memorial Library

Len's subject for the second of the Memorial murals was The Four Freedoms, although the work was renamed Preserved Freedom. The work portrays freedom of worship and speech and freedom from fear and want.

Both murals will be painted so as to appear as one, though they will be divided by an etched glass panel set in marble" said Mr Mitchell, "and it is my intention to depict the events already described against the immensity of the Universe. Out of the sacrifices of war, man ever aspires to nobility and truth. A battle-scarred tree on the left has not been so mutilated that it cannot produce a budding limb - a symbol of future growth. The tree of life on the right represents mankind's ultimate fulfilment. The rising sun beyond suggests the dawn of a greater endeavour."1Leonard Mitchell, 1955

1. Preliminary sketch for Lower Hutt Mural: Portraits of Artists, Scientists ... Lower Hutt to have Biggest NZ Mural. The Evening Post, 7 October 1955, page 12.