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Sculpting the Seven

Monday, 2nd June, 2008

Geoff DeMain Geoff DeMain

One of the city's favourite artists has been commissioned to create a sculpture for Broken Hill's 125th anniversary.

Geoff DeMain, whose large, colourful murals adorn the train station and the Community Centre, was this week named as the artist chosen by City Council to make a sculpture of the Syndicate of Seven.

Council commissioned the sculpture of the original seven members of the Broken Hill Proprietry company for the anniversary and intends to place it on the lawn outside the Council Chambers.

Three artists presented their ideas for the work and Mr DeMain's was named the winner at Wednesday night's monthly Council meeting.

Council has set aside $80,000 for the project and will seek contributions from government, the local mines and BHP Billiton.

Mr Demain's sculpture will consist of a bust of each of the syndicate members who founded BHP in 1883.

The syndicate was formed at the suggestion of George McCulloch, the manager of Mt Gipps station, and the other members were Charles Rasp, a boundary rider; George Urquhart, sheep overseer; George Lind, storekeeper; Philip Charley, station hand; and David James and James Poole, dam-sinking contractors.

All agreed to subscribe 70 pounds sterling to the venture which became the richest silver, lead and zinc mine the world has ever seen. 

Mr DeMain said yesterday that he felt honoured to be chosen for the commission.

"I feel that, as an artist, you want to leave your mark, especially in your own community, and this is definitley leaving your mark.

"The important thing is that it is being done by a local. I feel honoured." 

He said that each of the sculptures would stand about two metres tall and that the bronze busts would be about one third larger than life-size. 

Mr Demain will make the busts out of clay and they will be sent to Melbourne to be cast in bronze.

They will then be mounted on blocks of black granite which will be fixed to the ground by steel pins.

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