Sculpture to honour community
A statue commemorating the LGBTIQ community is nearing completion and will be unveiled during the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne in July.
Called 'Courage', the 2.1 metre high statue is by Melbourne sculptor William Eicholtz and is of a young man emerging from a costume of the cowardly lion from the famous story The Wizard of Oz.
The completed bronze sculpture will stand on a base fitted with a yellow LED display.
Three years in the making, Eicholtz told gaynewsnetwork it resulted from an offer from the City of Yarra for a monument recognising the LGBTIQ community as well as the life and career of openly gay, former Yarra mayor Ralph McLean.
“I wondered what image I could use to represent that diverse community,” Eicholtz said.
“What I came up with was that they all had the courage to be who they are inside.”
“I wanted it to be a very positive sculpture and it's one of the only sculptures in the world that will recognise any kind of alternative sexuality.'
Eicholtz said there were several proposed locations for the statue but the final choice of Whitlam Place in Napier Street, Fitzroy is the best.
“It's next to the Fitzroy Town Hall, which is no longer a centre of government but is a community space.
Although funding and budgets changed over three years, Eicholtz said with the 2014 International AIDS Conference on the horizon the City of Yarra were determined to be a major player in terms of cultural events for it.
He said although it is not a sculpture about AIDS, it is about the spirit that has enabled the community to rally and fight and provide a response to the epidemic.
The clay model is about to be cast in bronze and will cost $50,000 and Eicholtz hopes to raise money by selling limited edition scale models of the sculpture.
Pictured: Sculptor William Eicholtz with model at work on his world first sculpture Courage