Bronze on the way for Busselton's Cultural Precinct statues

Sculptor Greg James adding detail to the clothing of a timber worker figurine.
Sculptor Greg James adding detail to the clothing of a timber worker figurine.
One of the whaler figurines, representing the wives of the American whalers, who stayed in Busselton  during their pregnancy and often taught at the local school.

One of the whaler figurines, representing the wives of the American whalers, who stayed in Busselton during their pregnancy and often taught at the local school.

THE cultural district of Busselton is set to get bronzed, with the set of bronze statues to be installed running right on schedule.

Fremantle artist, Greg James, who has the contract, is currently working on the small scale models of the figures for approval of the design and to raise funding for the full-scale figures that will eventually become part of our cultural landscape in Busselton.

Greg is currently working on the clay models, using these to create moulds which will eventually house the bronze pour.

At this stage, it is a similar process to the full scale bronze sculptures, but the models are only 600mm high, or at one third-to-life scale, which are also known as marquettes.

“Once we have the models, the city can help raise funds for the rest of the project,” Greg said.

“I initially put in a proposal, which included drawings and ideas.

“Between then and now there have been many small changes,” Greg said, saying this was a normal part of the process.

“There will be changes as we move from ideas to drawings to discussion and the finished products.”

One example of this change is a figure of a settler looking at a noticeboard.

At the proposal stage of the project this was just a nameless settler doing something quite normal for the early days of Busselton’s history – checking the town noticeboard to see what was happening.

During the discussion stage of the project, it was suggested that this figure resemble John Garrett Bussell, and now Greg will be undertaking more research and making small changes to the pose and clothing in order to make the figure a more accurate representation of a founding father.

“There will be opportunities for us to research the clothing and way of life.

“There is always room to make small changes.”

Greg also hopes to create a balanced picture of Busselton’s past.

“One of the figures will relate to the indigenous people of the area,” he said.

“It will be very exciting to work with them.”

Greg is optimistic that by the time the project is finished, it will have been a real community effort.

“We’ve had a couple of meetings with the Bussell family, and had a lot of input from them which is fantastic.”

The figures will be in clay by the end of the month, then moulds will be created from the clay statues, and the figures cast into bronze.

To get an idea of how the sculptures might look when they’re finished, go to Greg’s website at gregjamessculpture.com

Greg’s studio at the J-Shed in Fremantle is open to the public and he encourages people to come and check out the statues’ progress on their next trip to Perth.