One step closer to recognising the past

AFTER years of planning and consultation, a snapshot in time was presented to council last week, taking the Busselton Settlement Art Project to the next stage of the process. 

Bronze miniatures, or maquettes, of the statues that will capture Busselton’s historic past in the main street, were viewed by city councillors and the project’s steering committee as part of a report and presentation to council.

“The mini-sculptures are the beginning of a process that will see seven life-sized bronze sculptures erected to commemorate Busselton’s founding in 1834,” cultural development officer at the City of Busselton, Jacquie Happ said.

“These statues are the culmination of community support and interest in the town’s 175th anniversary in 2009.”

The complete set of statues, which will cost an estimated $700,000, represent the different aspects of early Busselton life and will be located within the cultural precinct along Queen Street.

The full-scale statues will be made over the next three to four years.

With contributions from the community, it is anticipated the first sculptures will be commissioned in the 2013-14 financial year.

“Each sculpture reflects the founders of our town with John Garrett Bussell representing the four founding families: Chapman, Dawson, Layman and Bussell,” Jacquie said.

“The other sculptures include an Indigenous child with Elder, a pioneer woman, a whaler’s wife, a Spanish settler and a timber worker.  Greg James, the artist and well-known West Australian sculptor, will be consulting with Sandra Hill and other local Noongar people to create the memories for the Indigenous sculpture.”

Chair of the steering group, Cr. David Reid, said the committee members were inspired by the maquettes.

“We believe the statues have captured the very essence of the early Busselton settlement life,” he said.

“The committee also believes the maquettes will be well received by the Busselton community, and the sculptor, Greg James is to be congratulated for the high standard of his work.

“The stories that surround each statue reflect the hardships endured by the early settlers.

“Once finished, these statues will link the past with the present for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations.”

The city has arranged for the Busselton Settlement Appeal to be set up with the National Trust, which makes donations toward the project tax deductible.

The bronze maquettes of the pioneer woman, John Garrett Bussell, and the American whaler’s wife.

The bronze maquettes of the pioneer woman, John Garrett Bussell, and the American whaler’s wife.

Jacquie Happ, Cr David Reid and Mayor Ian Stubbs with maquettes.

Jacquie Happ, Cr David Reid and Mayor Ian Stubbs with maquettes.