ARTISTS Suzie Bleach and Andy Townsend have been chosen to create a $100,000 sculpture for Hughes Shops to replace a sculpture that was stolen in 2016, said Arts Minister Gordon Ramsay.
“When the much-loved bronze sculpture, ‘Stepping Out’ (The Lady in Pearls) by Giovanna Ianniello and Gerard Murphy, originally installed at Hughes shops in 1997, was stolen in 2016, the local community was devastated,” he said.
“Many people said it was like losing a loved one, she was such a part of the community.”
“Stepping Out” was unable to be recast as the moulds no longer exist, so a community consultation with Hughes residents was undertaken last year to identify what locals felt would be a suitable replacement.
The design by Bleach and Townsend is for a single bronze female figure, cradling a large bird.
“Bleach and Townsend are highly regarded nationally and have strong connections to Canberra. Most recently, they exhibited artworks locally at Floriade in 2017 and at the Contour 556 sculpture exhibition in 2016,” Mr Gentleman said.
The new artwork will be developed over the coming months and is expected to be installed early next year. It will feature reinforced footings and fixings.