TWO bronze sculptures standing over two metres high and valued at $100,000 have been donated to Warrnambool in what has been described as a coup for the city.
The Guardians will be installed on the Civic Green next week and officially unveiled on November 10.
Internationally-renowned artist Shona Nunan, formerly of Daylesford and now based in Italy, and Melbourne-based philanthropist Professor Barbara van Ernst have given the work to Warrnambool with the city council contributing $12,000.
Warrnambool Art Gallery director John Cunningham said it was an “absolute coup” to secure such a valuable piece from such an internationally-recognised artist funded by a generous philanthropist.
“This piece of art will stand proudly in our cultural precinct and will be a guardian and a beacon for the city revitalisation during coming years,” he said.
“The generosity of Barbara and Shona is very humbling and we will be forever grateful for such a magnificent addition to arts and culture in our city.”
Nunan, whose work graces venues around the world, was commissioned by the gallery and Professor van Ernst in January to do a piece of public art for Warrnambool.
They both later visited Warrnambool to meet Cunningham and city art advisory committee chairman Glenys Philpott, when the Civic Green was chosen as the most appropriate venue.
The public unveiling ceremony will start at 5.30pm.
Professor van Ernst was formerly head of Deakin University’s school of visual, performing and media arts in Warrnambool and deputy vice-chancellor at Swinburne University of Technology.
She now works as a higher education consultant in Australia and internationally.
Nunan was born at Daylesford and studied fine art at RMIT in 1976 before marrying sculptor Michael Cartwright in 1981, starting a partnership that has won them recognition nationally and overseas. They are based in Ponte a Serraglio, Italy.
Hamilton Art Gallery purchased her sculptures Joy and Torso last year. In the past three years public art pieces have been installed in the CBD at the intersections of Liebig-Koroit streets and Liebig-Lava streets.