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Quartette, 1953. Copper. Image copyright Effy Alexakis 2002.

Quartette, 1953. Copper.
Image copyright Effy Alexakis 2002.

gallery - catalogue - page three

There was a sculpture park in Shepherd's Bush, and a major sculpture exhibition called The Unknown Political Prisoner, which was won by Reg Butler - I thought his works were about as crazy as mine.

I was making small sculptures in our flat. Then I changed my job to a firm which manufactured things out of copper. Great pieces of copper were being thrown away as scrap. I was allowed to go down every lunch hour to the workshop and play around with it. One sculpture I entered in an exhibition called Artists from the Commonwealth received quite a lot of acclaim. Barry Humphries - he was a painter in those days - had some work in that show, too.

We got back to Australia in 1955, and again I worked as an engineer, for about three years. I bought a block of land in Turramurra where we live now, and I designed a house for it, and made a model of it, and an architect asked whether I'd make models for him. I wasn't sure, but then as fortune would have it I was retrenched. I've never worked for anyone since.

I was deluged with orders for models, and before long I had a couple of people working for me whom I trained. Then there was the building boom in Sydney, and for every building a model was needed.

One of my clients was Wally Abraham [Macquarie's founding Architect-Planner]. Before the first sod was turned they had me doing models of buildings for this campus.

But I never stopped making sculptures. And I was getting frightfully bored making models of other people's designs. I wanted to do something myself. I realise now that, theoretically, I should have practised sculpture from the very beginning, but I needed to support a family. I have no regrets about that.

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