Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia

Art & memorials

Fountains, sculptures and memorials in the Royal Botanic Garden and the Domain

Some sculptures are installed as part of the City of Sydney's Sculpture Walk program, and some sculptures are the property of the Art Gallery of New South Wales:

** Statues installed as part of the City of Sydney's Sculpture Walk program.
*** Property of the Art Gallery of New South Wales

1. Robert Burns
2. Viva Voce Installation **
3. Police Memorial Wall
4. Almost Once ***
5. Mobius Sea ***
6. The Offerings of Peace and War ***
7. Prometheus for Franz Kafka and Untitled sculpture ***
8. Henry Moore Reclining Figure ***
9. Sphinxes
10. Sir John Robertson
11. Cometh up as a Flower
12. Henry Kendall Seat
13. Lewis Wolfe Levy Fountain
14. I Wish Statue
15. Henry Lawson Statue
16. Veil of Trees **
17. AIF Tree - 2/30 Battalion Memorial
18. Sitting Lion and Lioness
19. Archaeology of Bathing **
20. Dual Nature **
21. Volunteers Memorial
22. Mrs Macquaries Chair
23. Fleet Steps and Queen Elizabeth II Memorial
24. Boy with Thorn
25. Magnolia (Seed) and Palm **
26. Wuganmagulya
27. Mare and Foal
28. Choragic Monument
29. Cunningham Memorials
30. Venus Fountain
31. Temple Dogs
32. Japanese Lanterns
33. Venus ‘Italica’
34. Slit drum
35. Folly for Mrs Macquarie **
36. Earthmother
37. Satyr
38. Memory is Creation without End **
39. Sensory fountain
40. Herb Garden Sundial
41. Herb Garden Birdbath
42. Nellie Stewart Memorial
43. Huntsman and Dogs
44. Marble Lions
45. Sweep Boy, Linda da Chamonix and the (Four) Seasons
46. The Boxers
47. Love Led Them
48. Governor Phillip Fountain
49. Wishing Well Fountain
50. Morshead Fountain
51. Desert Mounted Corps Memorial
52. Shakespeare Memorial
53. Governor Bourke Statue
54. Care Leavers Tribute
55. Wurrungwuri

See also Sculpture by the Sea artworks

ART-&-MEMORIALS-MAP Click on map to enlarge

SITE-MAP Download site map - showing entry from Opera House via vehicle concourse during construction.


Lions

seed sculpture

sundial

birdbath

1. Robert Burns
Bronze statue (2.9 metres high) by Frederick Pomeroy of Scottish poet Robert Burns on stone pedestal of Melbourne granite, mostly in the rough, with one polished course in the centre, 1905.

 

2. Viva Voce Installation **
Installation by Debra Phillips consisting of a red stepladder and five marble clad 'soapboxes' arranged amongst the trees at Speakers Corner in the Domain. Acknowledges the historical and contemporary importance of the area as a site of public oratory, as both the ‘living voice and democratic heart of the city’, 1999. 

3. Police Memorial Wall
Memorial Wall to Police Officers who have lost their lives in the course of their duty, 1862-1998, erected 1999.

4. Almost Once ***
Brett Whiteley sculpture of blackbutt timber and fibreglass consisting of two large ‘redhead’ matches, one live and one burnt, on a concrete base (conceived in 1968 and finished in 1991).

5. Mobius Sea
Statue by Richard Goodwin in the Crescent Precinct of the Domain near the Art Gallery of NSW. It was the winner of the Royal Blind Society's Sculpture Award and was unveiled by The Hon. Neville Wran, Premier of NSW, in 1986.

6. The Offerings of Peace and War ***
These two massive sculptures - the Offerings of Peace and The Offerings of War - are both the work of the English sculptor, Gilbert Bayes (1872-1953), 1926.

7. Prometheus for Franz Kafka and Untitled sculpture
Sculptures at the edge of the Landbridge, north of the Art Gallery of NSW. The dark bronze sculpture 3.45 m tall, is by William Tucker, created 1989-90 and represents 'a lump of matter [reflecting] on the mythological Prometheus ... and the writings of Franz Kafka'. The untitled angular yellow abstract concrete piece nearby is by Mike Parr on loan from the John Kaldor collection, 1998.

8. Henry Moore Reclining Figure ***
The reclining bronze is by the English sculptor, Henry Moore (1898-1986), considered to be one of the greatest of all twentieth-century sculptors. The original plaster was made in 1975. This cast was purchased from the artist in 1981.

9. Sphinxes
The two sphinxes on either side of the pathway opposite and facing the Art Gallery of NSW are bronze casts of two original sandstone sphinxes from the estate of Sir James Martin that resided near the swings on the eastern side of Art Gallery Road for many years. The bronze casts were commissioned by the Friends of The Gardens and unveiled by Mrs Gordon Samuels in April 1997.
   
10. Sir John Robertson
Bronze statue of the politician Sir John Robertson who, as Lands Minister, approved the opening of the Domain at night to pedestrians in 1860. The statue, paid for by public subscription, was unveiled in 1904. 
   

11. Cometh up as a Flower
This is a 1.2 m tall white marble statue of a female, 1878, by the British sculptor Shakespeare Wood, relocated to the garden near the Cunningham Building in 1982 and a gift of Mr E.R. Fairfax in 1889.

   

12. Henry Kendall Seat
Art Deco style seat commissioned by Mrs A. Hamilton-Grey and designed by Wilfred Rhodes in memory of the poet Henry Kendall. The winged horses were carved by L. Bicego, 1939.

13. Lewis Wolfe Levy Fountain
Art Nouveau fountain by C.B. Birch surmounted with a bronze statue of a young girl with a heron and reeds and frogs at the base. Commissioned by the family of politician and businessman Lewis Wolfe Levy, 1889.

14. I Wish Statue
Pink concrete head of a girl by Arthur Fleischman, commissioned by Leo Buring, and mounted on a sandstone plinth (site of the first Wishing Tree), 1946.

15. Henry Lawson Statue
Bronze statue of Australian poet and short story writer Henry Lawson (plus swagman, fence post and dog) by George Lambert, 1931.

16. Veil of Trees **
Installation by Janet Lawrence and Jisuk Han. The passage of glass panels and new tree planting's reflects the botanical history of the Domain whilst rejuvenating species that were once found in the area. Consists of a meandering line of forest red gums with glass panels embedded with seeds, ash, honey, resin, and fragments of prose and poems by Australian writers, inspired by the landscape, 1999. Janet Laurence also created 'The Edge of Trees' in the forecourt of the Museum of Sydney.

17. AIF Tree - 2/30  Battalion Memorial
A Ficus destruens (Rusty Fig) was planted by His Excellency, the Hon. A.M. Gleeson AC, Lieutenant Governor of NSW, in the Woolloomooloo Precinct of the Domain on 7 October 1995, to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the homecoming of the Men of the 2/30 Battalion AIF, commanded by Lt. Col. (later Brigadier) Sir Frederick Gallegham DSO ISO Ed. A plaque set in the adjacent stone recorded that ‘They sailed from here [Finger Wharf, Woolloomooloo Bay], survivors returned here, we remember those who did not come home’.

   
18. Sitting Lion and Lioness
These cast iron lions, restored in 1990, has been polished to a fine smoothness by countless children sitting on them over the years. They were presented to the Botanic Garden in 1912 by the executors of the estate of Edward Sanders. The lions now guard the gate leading to Lion Gate Lodge.
   

19. Archaeology of Bathing **
Water installation by Robyn Backen tracing the outline of the former Domain Baths for ladies and relecting upon the cultural attitudes towards bathing in Sydney at the time. The installation also signifies tidal movements and the naval presence across Woolloomooloo Bay.

20. Dual Nature **
Soundscape installation by Nigel Helyer, relating to the history of people and shipping in Woolloomooloo Bay. Hybrids of marine, industrial and natural forms cling to the shoreline, transmitting ambient sounds, 1999.

21. Volunteers Memorial
The memorial to the NSW Emergency Services Volunteers in the Northern Traffic island, near Mrs Macquaries Point, was carved from a single slab of sandstone ‘embedded in the strata and protruding as an overhanging ledge ‘by George Proudman OAM and Alf Pires, stonemasons.

   

22. Mrs Macquaries Chair
Seat carved in outcrop of solid stone at the northern most point of Mrs Macquaries Road, 1816, where the wife of Governor Macquarie liked to sit and watch the ships come in.

23. Fleet Steps and Queen Elizabeth II Memorial
Steps constructed in 1908 to welcome the Great White American Fleet to Sydney. The adjacent wall commemorates the location where Queen Elizabeth II first set foot on Australian soil (asphalt) in 1954.

24. Boy with Thorn
Damaged marble copy of ‘Boy with Thorn’ statue, imported from Italy, 1883.

25. Magnolia (Seed) and Palm **
Metal pair of overscaled seed-like sculptures by Bronwyn Oliver, nestled beneath a magnolia and a palm tree in the Gardens are placed adjacent to the site of the First Farm in Sydney Cove. The forms reflect the ‘organic flotsam washed up by the tide, blown by the wind, and laden with the potential for transformation and new life’, 1999.
   
26. Wuganmagulya
This work in Farm Cove by Indigenous artist Brenda L. Croft in 2000 comprises terrazzo and stained concrete insets into the pathway depicting figures from Sydney rock carvings, some of which are now lost. Etched in red along the kerb are the names of people, places, animals, tools and rituals from the many groups of Indigenous people in the Sydney area. The work marks the historic and continuing importance of Indigenous people to this area.
   

27. Mare and Foal
Bronze mare (La Reyna) and her foal by the French artist, Arthur J. le Duc, purchased in 1891, and donated to the Royal Botanic Gardens in 1958.

28. Choragic Monument
Carved sandstone replica of the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates, executed by Walter McGill for Sir James Martin, Premier of New South Wales, 1870, for his residence in Macleay Street. Presented to the Royal Botanic Garden in 1943.

29. Cunningham Memorials
The Allan Cunningham Obelisk is in a pond on the north-eastern side of the Botanic Gardens Restaurant. Allan Cunningham, explorer and botanist, was for a short time Superintendent (Director) of the Botanic Garden. When the National Herbarium of NSW was built in 1982, Cunningham's original tombstone was incorporated in the external wall near the main entrance off Mrs Macquaries Road.

30. Venus Fountain
This statue was erected prior to 1880,probably in 1879 leading up to the International Exhibition. At this stage the base of the fountain was surrounded by weathered rocks and large clam shells. These were later removed and replaced by a sculpted crocodile. The badly deteriorating statue was removed in August 1990 cast in bronze, and reinstalled the pond in September 1994. The original was lost in the process. 

   
31. Temple Dogs
A pair of bronze lions known as 'Temple Dogs' sit on either side of the pathway on the northern end of the pergola of the Oriental Garden. Made in Thailand, they were donated by the Friends of The Gardens in 1998.
   
32. Japanese Lanterns
By 1921 a Japanese Garden had been established in the Lower Gardens where bamboos had been planted earlier. A pergola and two torii (gateway of Shinto shrine, with two uprights and two cross-pieces) were constructed in 1922 and planted with varieties of wisteria. Three sandstone lanterns of varying heights were made by Mr F.J. Read, Outer-Domain Stonemason, two of which remain. In 1988, three white granite lanterns were added. These were donated by Sydney's sister-city Nagoya in 1983.
   

33. Venus ‘Italica’
Marble replica of the Venus ‘Italica’ by the Italian sculptor Antonio Canova.

   
34. Slit Drum
Slit drum from the island of Ambrym in Vanuatu, presented by the Australian Friends of Vanuatu in July 1992 and made of Intsia bijuga (Pacific Teak). Known on Ambrym as 'atingting', slit drums were traditionally used for beating dance rhythms, transmitting messages or summoning villagers to meetings.
   

35. Folly for Mrs Macquarie
This sculpture by Fiona Hall looks across to Mrs Macquaries Point and the Opera House, and is situated at the possible site of an original folly of Elizabeth, the second wife of Governor Macquarie. It is a statement about the follies of white settlement, with a raised arm and clasped dagger (Macquarie's crest), a ceiling of possum skulls, a domed roof of metal Norfolk Island Pine fronds and an underlying canopy of bones representing the animals that once lived in this area.

   

36. Earthmother
Figurative sculpture by Helen Leete, from earth and sand laid in strata, imitating natural rock, 1993.

37. Satyr
Bronze cast of Frank ‘Guy’ Lynch’s 1924 sculpture modelled from the artist’s brother, whose death inspired Kenneth Slessor to write his poem ‘Five Bells’, 1977.

38. Memory is Creation without End **
Spiral of sandstone blocks by Kimio Tsuchiya, relics of demolished buildings symbolising the circular connection of past, present, and future, 2000.

39. Sensory Fountain
A spherical fountain designed to be touched, seen and heard - water begins to flow as you approach. Designed for the Herb Garden in 1994 by Victorian artist Tim Jones and made by Dave Mune at the Art Foundry in Victoria. The fountain is surrounded by a bronze ring of herbs drawn by Gardens’ illustrator Marion Westmacott. Donated by the Australian Bank Ltd to commemorate their 10th anniversary and the 175th anniversary of the Royal Botanic Garden.

40. Herb Garden Sundial
A splendid armillary sphere sundial, 2.4 m tall, 1.5 m internal ring diameter, weighing 1500 kg and made of silicon bronze, was designed specifically for the Herb Garden by John Ward and Margaret Folkard (Sundials Australia, Adelaide) in 1994. Features herbs modelled in clay in high relief by Adelaide sculptor Karen Rumpf from drawings by Gardens’ illustrator Marion Westmacott. Both sundial and herb ring were cast by Dave Mune at the Art Foundry in Victoria. The sundial is dedicated to the memory of the late Malcolm Arnott (1910-1991).

41. Herb Garden Birdbath
Designed and made in 1994 for the Herb Garden by sculptor Peter Mueller and commemorating Hope Clayton (1907-1991), a friend of the Gardens.

42. Nellie Stewart Memorial
This memorial is located at the focal point of the Herb Garden, site of a former rose garden. It commemorates Nellie Stewart, an enduring actress of great popularity who was born in Woolloomooloo in 1858. After she died in 1932 a Memorial Fund raised enough money for a Garden of Memory. The bronze portrait as-relief bust of the famous actress was unveiled by Lady Wakehurst in 1938.

43. Huntsman and Dogs
This recently restored statue by the French sculptor A. Jacquemart is ‘imitation bronze’ - an iron casting on which copper has been deposited by electrolysis. It was cast by the Val d’Osne Company c. 1879.

44. Marble Lions
These sculpted lions in white Italian marble came to the Botanic Gardens during the layout of the Garden Palace grounds, c. 1882. They were removed during the construction of the Cahill Expressway and put in storage, then reinstalled on concrete footings in the Garden Palace grounds in 1994, on the northern side of the Rose Garden, looking towards the Conservatorium of Music.
   

45. Sweep Boy, Linda di Chamonix and the Seasons
Marble Victorian-era pair of statues of a young girl with a scarf, clogs and musical instrument and a sweep boy from the Donizetti opera ‘Linda di Chamonix’, written in 1842. At the top of the steps, 'Winter', and at the bottom of the steps, 'Spring' and 'Autumn'. These statues have been in the same place in the Garden since the 1880s. 

   

46. The Boxers
Two-metre high marble copies of ‘The Boxers’ by Antonio Canova. This pair of statues has also been in the Garden since the 1880s.

   

47. Love Led Them
This small bronze fountain figure of a Cupid (a young boy with bow and arrows and wings) on a marble plinth, is set in the central pond of the Pioneer Memorial Garden. Sculpted by Paul R. Montford (1868-1938), it marks the precise spot of the centre of the dome of the former Garden Palace.

   

48. Governor Phillip Fountain
Massive sculpture and fountain by the Italian sculptor Achille Simonetti, unveiled during the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations (i.e. 60 years) of the reign of Queen Victoria, 1897.

   

49. Wishing Well Fountain
The Wishing Well Fountain for the NSW Society for Crippled Children outside the Palace Garden Gate was designed by architect Professor Peter Spooner, 1963. The pool and fountainhead were by Public Works Department NSW in association with Phill & K.V. Taranto Architects, 1988.

   

50. Morshead Fountain
Fountain in memory of Lieutenant-General Sir Lesley Morshead (knighted for his defence of Tobruk in World War II) and the men who served with him, 1966.

   

51. Desert Mounted Corps Memorial
Erected on 25 April 1950 (Anzac Day) by friends and members of the Desert Mounted Corps, this memorial comprises a panel formed by a series of sandstone blocks, with two metal plaques with a bronze bas-relief by J.B. Dunlop of three horses with ammunition pouches around their necks, and reins held by a trooper in short sleeves, hat and boots, with ammunition pouches across his chest. The memorial was moved to its present location in the mid-1960s after the construction of the Cahill Expressway.

   

52. Shakespeare Memorial
Bronze memorial to William Shakespeare, consisting of group figures (about 2.5 metres high) of some of his more famous characters, surmounted by a 2.75 metre statue of the poet and playwright, 1926.

   

53. Governor Bourke Statue
Bronze statue of Governor Richard Bourke by E.H. Bailey (once near site of Shakespeare Group), 1842.

54. Care Leavers Tribute

A tribute to remember the courage and strength of the many NSW children who suffered neglect in care institutions - orphanages, children’s homes and foster homes - in the decades leading up to the 1990s.

55. Wurrungwuri

To find out all about this sculpture visit www.wurrungwuri.com.