Matthew Flinders and Web Gilbert

Post your images from any Bush Poetry events here.

Please keep the file sizes down to under 150kb. If your greatest image dimension is 600px or under, there will be no problems keeping within the file sizes.
Keeping the LARGEST dimensions at 600px means, if the length is 600px then the width could be the same but preferably less. Conversly, if the width is 600px then the length could be the same but preferably less.
Forum rules
Please keep the file sizes down to under 150kb and the dimensions UNDER 600 X 600px ...
Post Reply
User avatar
Stephen Whiteside
Posts: 3784
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:07 pm
Contact:

Matthew Flinders and Web Gilbert

Post by Stephen Whiteside » Sat Jun 01, 2013 7:05 am

Web Gilbert was an Australian sculptor. Sadly, he seems to have been pretty much forgotten.

Gilbert was a good friend of C. J. Dennis. He was a key member of the "Sunnyside" circle, which enabled Dennis to complete the writing of "The Sentimental Bloke".

Gilbert was born in 1867, the same year as Henry Lawson. Completely self taught, he actually began his working life as a cake decorator. He later moved in to sculpture, first marble, then bronze.

Gilbert had a studio in Fitzroy, where he did everything himself. This included carting clay in wheelbarrows to make moulds. His career was hijacked by the First World War, whereby he ended up being commissioned to make statues to commemorate famous victories, and later worked extensively on the various dioramas in the War Museum in Canberra. I don't think it was what he had planned for himself, but it paid the bills and fed his family.

Gilbert died in 1925 - three years after Lawson - at the age of 58. He simply dropped dead one day while wheeling a heavy barrow. Much of his work was incomplete at the time of his death, and had to be completed by others.

This bronze statue of Matthew Flinders is probably his greatest and most famous work. It was completed in 1923, two years prior to his death, but he died before it was finally installed.

It is positioned in an iconic part of the Melbourne CBD - the corner of Swanston and Flinders Streets - just outside St. Paul's cathedral. Thousands of people pass the statue every day and do not give it a second look.

I rang the Melbourne City Council last year to enquire about further details relating to the statue and its installation, and they were embarrassed to tell me they actually had very little information about it at all. They did point me in the direction of the Public Records Office, and I hope to get there one day.

An elderly friend of mine with a great interest in art and sculpture recently told me he had admired it for many years, and had assumed it was made in England. It wasn't. It was made by a Victorian born sculptor in the inner Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy.

Next time you are in Melbourne, check it out if you have a chance. It is diagonally opposite Flinders Street railway station.

You get a great view from the upstairs window of the McDonalds restaurant across the street.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Last edited by Stephen Whiteside on Sat Jun 01, 2013 7:11 am, edited 6 times in total.
Stephen Whiteside, Australian Poet and Writer
http://www.stephenwhiteside.com.au

User avatar
Stephen Whiteside
Posts: 3784
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:07 pm
Contact:

Re: Matthew Flinders and Web Gilbert

Post by Stephen Whiteside » Sat Jun 01, 2013 7:06 am

Other angle.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Stephen Whiteside, Australian Poet and Writer
http://www.stephenwhiteside.com.au

Heather

Re: Matthew Flinders and Web Gilbert

Post by Heather » Sat Jun 01, 2013 10:28 am

It's a great statute Stephen and I have taken notice of it when in Melbourne but didn't know anything about the sculptor. Thanks for that, very interesting.

Heather :)

User avatar
Maureen K Clifford
Posts: 7586
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:31 am
Location: Ipswich - Paul Pisasale country and home of the Ipswich Poetry Feast
Contact:

Re: Matthew Flinders and Web Gilbert

Post by Maureen K Clifford » Sat Jun 01, 2013 2:33 pm

Thank you Stephen for sharing - it is interesting - why is one bloke pulling the boat forward and one pushing it back or are they supposedly turning it around? Presumably this is the little rowing boat he came ashore in... what a pompous ass - standing there like King Canute - wouldn't you think he would have got out and helped :lol: Not an Aussie see but the first to use the term Australia on maps

Here's a bit more on the Captain Matthew Flinders Statue

Sculptor Charles Web Gilbert; founder F. Barbedienne
Bronze statue with granite plinth
1923
St Paul's Cathedral, Swanston Street
Charles Web Gilbert was born in 1867 near Cockatoo, in Victoria. The Flinders monument is Gilbert's best-known work and has been particularly admired for the use of the boat as the statue's base.

Flinders gained acclaim for establishing the strait between mainland Australia and Tasmania in 1798. Over 1801-03, he mapped the coast of Australia, completed against great odds, and was the first cartographer to use 'Australia' on maps, rather than 'New Holland'. On the Flinders' Statue Fund collecting card, Professor Ernest Scott wrote: 'amongst the seamen who habitually traverse these coasts, no name, not even that of Cook, is so deeply esteemed as his'.
Check out The Scribbly Bark Poets blog site here -
http://scribblybarkpoetry.blogspot.com.au/


I may not always succeed in making a difference, but I will go to my grave knowing I at least tried.

User avatar
Stephen Whiteside
Posts: 3784
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:07 pm
Contact:

Re: Matthew Flinders and Web Gilbert

Post by Stephen Whiteside » Sat Jun 01, 2013 2:48 pm

Good points, Maureen. I rather imagined the bloke with his back to us was pulling rather than pushing, but you may be right. Maybe Gilbert just liked the look of it.

My suspicion is that Flinders would have got his feet wet. The statue might tell us more about Gilbert than Flinders, but either way, I think it's very grand and beautiful.

It would be great to find out something about what exactly Gilbert had in mind, and what his influences were. Don't know if he was a seafarer himself or not. That would certainly make a difference.

Amazing to think Gilbert did all this himself - but then again, perhaps he didn't.

So many questions...
Stephen Whiteside, Australian Poet and Writer
http://www.stephenwhiteside.com.au

Heather

Re: Matthew Flinders and Web Gilbert

Post by Heather » Sat Jun 01, 2013 3:45 pm

It's a statue Maureen. I reckon a little bit of poetic license has been used. :)

Bob Pacey
Moderator
Posts: 7463
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:18 am
Location: Yeppoon

Re: Matthew Flinders and Web Gilbert

Post by Bob Pacey » Sat Jun 01, 2013 4:29 pm

Poetic licence ? What's the world coming to ?


Bob
The purpose in life is to have fun.
After you grasp that everything else seems insignificant !!!

Post Reply