James Martin Sculpture by Alan Somerville

Alan Somerville was asked by the Lysicrates Foundation to create a sculpture depicting James Martin, best known as the namesake for Martin Place in the CBD in Sydney. Two renditions of the sculpture were cast by Crawfords to be installed in Parramatta and in Martin Place.

James Martin was born in Ireland of lowly beginnings but moved to NSW as his father was offered work and considered it a great opportunity to raise his son in Sydney. At a young age James Martin showed strong reserve and determination particularly in pursuing his desire for education. The list of Martin's accomplishments is far reaching as he became a solicitor, editor, publisher before he was called upon to be Attorney General. He then became Premier and took that role over three time periods and in his later years became Chief Justice of New South Wales Supreme Court.

However, it was the depiction of James Martin as a young determined boy, making his way on foot from Parramatta to his school in Sydney that Somerville captures. Somerville uses his characteristic expressive touch to mould the image of Martin using plasticine.

Once this sculpture arrived at the foundry the process from silicon rubber master-moulding, to wax feeding and eventually to bronze casting has been highly documented. Our team of technicians worked for a number of months on recreating Somerville's sculptures. Alan Somerville worked side by side the team at Crawfords using his hands-on approach to guide and assist the process. 

We had a number of distinguished guests visit the foundry for the day of casting including The Hon. Dominic Perrottet, NSW Treasurer, along with the philanthropists John and Patricia Azarius, Bruce Pettman, Director of Heritage Asset Advisory, NSW Public Works,  Alan Somerville and Linda Pace, Somerville Fine Art, Channel 9 and the Telegraph. 

Photographs courtesy of Douglas Frost