William Leslie Bowles
Pyrmont sandstone sculpture
Fitzroy Gardens, Hotham Street entrance
William Leslie Bowles was born in 1885 in Leichhardt, NSW. He studied sculpture in Brisbane and then London, in the latter under the tutelage of renowned sculptor Bertram Mackennal. He joined the Australian War Memorial in 1924, where he produced several sculptures, including The Man with the Donkey, a tribute to Private Simpson. On leaving the memorial in 1931, Bowles undertook many public commissions.
Bowles sculpted Boy and Pelican from Pyrmont sandstone. The boy sits atop the back of a pelican, its wing outstretched. This sculpture is one that replaced the much deteriorated plaster statuary in Fitzroy Gardens, which Clement Hodgkinson had donated in the 1860s. It was one of three works created by Bowles for this purpose. This statue and his Mermaid and Fish were originally placed at the Clarendon Street entrance to the gardens, while his Diana and the Hounds is sited at the conservatory. The head of the boy was replaced in 1973, the statue having fallen victim to vandalism.