Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Public Art in Perth 6 - Fremantle

The statues are in this post are in the harbour city of Fremantle, a 20min drive from Perth's centre.
I have previously written about Fremantle, a very interesting and quirky "suburb".

Bon Scott - Fishing Boat Harbour 

I'm sure you've heard of the Australian rock band AC/DC? 
Ronald Belford Scott, or Bon Scott as the band's vocalist was known, was born in Scotland, but came to Fremantle with his parents. 
He was a troubled young man, who died in London in 1980, at the age of 33. His ashes are in the Fremantle Cemetery. 
A bronze statue of Bon was unveiled near the harbour in October 2008, sculpted by Greg James.

Fishermen's Monument -  Fisherman's Wharf

In 2002, Claude Basile, Ross Merlino and Guido Micalizzi, the sons of three pioneering fishermen from Fremantle, proposed the construction of a monument to the local fishermen who contributed so much to the Western Australian economy.
In 2005, the two life-sized bronze statues of fishermen were unveiled and dedicated to the fishermen who once departed from the Port of Fremantle to fish.
The honour wall next to the statues constitutes of 12 timber columns with 608 names written in bronze plaques, taken from pre-1947 fishing licence records.
The sculptors are - Jon Tarry and Greg James (who also did the Bon Scott statue).

Can you spot the Bon Scott statue to the left?

Welcome Walls - Maritime Museum, Victoria Quay

A major memorial to the contribution of migrants to the State of Western Australia, is located just outside the Maritime Museum. Unveiled in December 2004 as part of the 175th anniversary celebrations of WA. 
The Italian fishermen and their families are also represented here among the thousands of other names. 
Family members of immigrants that arrived through Fremantle were invited to  have their migrant heritage (name,  year of arrival and name of ship) recorded on these walls.

Stories from immigrants on the Welcome Walls

Child Migrant - Maritime Museum, Victoria Quay

This life sized bronze memorial of a boy and girl carrying their worldly possession by Joan Walsh-Smith and Charles Smith (I have mentioned these amazing sculptors in my other Public Art posts), is dedicated to the nearly 3000 British and Maltese unaccompanied children who were shipped out of their homeland to brave an unknown future in Western Australia over a period of 50 years.

Vasco da Gama Memorial - Marine Terrace, Esplanade Reserve

Commemorating the Portuguese navigator (1469-1525) and commander of the first ships to sail from Europe to India. He was also the Governor of  Portuguese India with the title of Viceroy.
It's lovely that the Portuguese community in Perth have a memorial to one of their own!

Pietro Giacomo Porcelli -  corner William and Adelaide Street (Kings Square)

This Italian sculptor was born in Biscegli, Bari, and migrated to Australia with his family.
He studied at the New South Wales Academy of Art, having later returned to Naples to study sculpture.
He created the life-sized bust of Sir John Forrest, that stands at the main entrance to Parliament House, as well as the statue of explorer Alexander Forrest (Sir John's brother) that stands at the entrance to the Supreme Court Gardens and many others scattered throughout Australia.

A friend and founder of the Porcelli Memorial Fund - Giuseppe Rispoli - proposed that a statue to Pietro Porcelli be commissioned by the Italian Community in honour of his memory and creativity. 
The bronze statue by Greg James, depicts the artist at work shaping a clay bust, the empty stool means the subject matter has already left.

Southern Crossing (or Man and Dingo) - Victoria Quay (Ferry Terminal)

Sculpted by Tony Jones and Ben Jones, and unveiled in 2002, this statue consists of 3 parts - the gangway, a life sized man with a suitcase in one hand an a model of a ship in the other and a dingo - representing the sense of adventure and fear that any immigrant would feel on disembarking from a ship in Fremantle to start a new life in Australia.
The dingo doesn't look too welcoming either...

Sir Hughie Idwal Edwards -

Air Comodore Sir Hughie Edwards, the son of Welsh immigrants, was raised and educated around Fremantle.
His bravery, skill and leadership during the war, led him to receive the Victoria Cross and Distinguished Flying Cross. He was Governor of Western Australia during 1974-75 and was knighted, retiring due to ill health.

Dog Statue

I came across this metal statue of a small dog in Fremantle, across from the harbour, and I thought it was cute.
Once I saw it with a bowl of water in front of him, making it look like a real dog!
Called "Blondie" it was done in 2011 by Janet Nixon (From Greg James Studio).

John Gerovich - Mark of the Century

In front of Fremantle Oval is a statue to this Australian rules players during the 1050's and 1960's. Sculpted by Robert Hitchcock in 2006, it was based on an actual photo published in the West Australian newspaper of John Gerovich's famous mark over Ray French in the 1956 WAFL preliminary final.

Hope you have enjoyed the statues in Fremantle, which was your favourite?


  1. Sami, I learn new and interesting things every time I visit your blog. All the bronze statues you have posted about recently are wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I have to admit... I didn´t know AC/DC are/were Aussies....
    The welcome-walls are a great idea, have to check them next time!
    And wow. Haven´t seen the child-migrant-statues - how sad and brave at the same time those children must´ve been!
    Southern Crossing is on the list as well :-)
    Yes, Freo has interesting stuff, too!

    1. Yes Iris, great statues in Freo too, so a visit should be on your list!

  3. Gostei de recordar Fremantle. Conheci parte das estátuas, não me recordo da última, o cãozito com a tigela de água. É muito bonita esta cidade! Esse mural também existe aqui em Sydney, em Darling Harbour, junto ao Museu da Marinha. Gosto de ir ler as histórias dos imigrantes de todo o mundo. Obrigada pela partilha.

    1. Obrigada Bebe, tambem gosto das historias dos emigrantes. Vidas duras! O cao de metal e uma estatueta recente.

  4. I really like where they placed the sculptures on the wharf.

    1. I agree Jose, those fishermen statues are so well placed.

  5. I think my favourite is the dog statue. I would also put a bowl of water in front of it :)

    1. HI Carole, the dog looks quite real, it's very cute!

  6. Mine is definitely the fishermen. my least fav is Bon Scott.. You captured the sculptures of Fremantle beautifully Sami.

    1. Thanks Grace. The fishermen are really well done and well placed too. I think Bon Scott seems to be a bit disproportionate...

  7. I just like the way some of the sculptures are so realistic. The dog one is very special, I also liked it.

  8. I agree, some amazing sculptors Sara!


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