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A bronze bust outside the State Library of South Australia on North Terrace celebrates the life and work of renowned Adelaide sculptor, painter and teacher John Dowie AM (1915-2008). Among the many works he created for public display were the Three Rivers fountain in Victoria Square, Alice in Rymill Park and the Victor Richardson Gates at Adelaide Oval.

A voice recording located with the bust enables passers-by to hear Dowie talk about his career and approach to his work. At the unveiling on 15 November 2006, the 91-year-old said he was honoured by the bust which had ‘an interesting difference of angle, quite different from me, but at the same time it is me and it is a good likeness indeed’ (Advertiser, 16 November 2006).

Sculptor John Woffinden was a protégé and friend of John Dowie. He studied at Victoria College, Melbourne, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts (sculpture) in the 1980s. This was followed by study in Europe and work at several European art foundries. At the time he created the bust Woffinden lived and worked at his foundry at Mylor in the Adelaide Hills.

By Jude Elton, History SA

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Bronze sculpture of John Dowie by John Woffinden
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