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Water Children

John Edward Robinson
Bronze sculpture
c. 1970
Queen Victoria Gardens

John Edward Robinson was born in London in 1935, but has a long history with Australia. He turned to sculpture while living in South Australia during the 1950s and 1960s, modelling rough figures of his three sons and the local children. But his reputation as a sculptor developed in the early 1970s, after he and his family had returned to England. He has undertaken many major commissions, including for the Australian Institute of Sport, Canberra, and the New Olympic Museum, Lausanne.

Water Children comprises two small bronze figures - a girl and boy who lean over a stream that meanders down to the lake. The girl is kneeling on her hands and knees, the boy lying down, one foot in the air, one hand scooping water. While this sculpture wasn't commissioned for the site, it demonstrates a shift towards more realist statuary that engages with its environment. Like The Pathfinder, this sculpture was in fact commissioned by Conzinc Riotinto (now known as Rio Tinto). It was purchased by the City of Melbourne in 1973 as a part of its re-landscaping of the gardens.

City Of Melbourne