As part of our Schools Programme we welcomed Peter Ewers who told us all about his father, sculptor Ray Ewers. Ray lived from 1917 to 1998, and was born in Wyalong in NSW. However he moved to Melbourne at a young age, and entered what is now the RMIT where he studied for five years up until 1940 whilst working under the watchful eye of prominent sculptor William Bowles. During this time he assisted with sculptures of King George V and General Sir John Monash. Ray enlisted as a Sapper in 1941 and was transferred and made a War Artist with the rank of lieutenant, having been recommended by William Bowles. In the early stages of his career, Ray worked at the Melbourne office of the Australian War Memorial and in his own studio at Frankston. Between 1943 and 1958 Ray researched and created sculptural elements of 32 dioramas, all showing aspects of the Second World War. He also produced many commemorative sculptures for the War Memorial and 22 of these are held in the Art Collection. Amongst these is his Australian Serviceman, a work originally displayed in the Hall of Memory but now in the Sculpture Garden. From the 1960s Ray’s output waned a little but he still produced a statue of Sir Thomas Blainey and the well known The Mounted Memorial, showing two Australian horse riders. The latter is a replacement of a statue that was erected in Port Said in 1932, but damaged beyond repair in 1956 during the Suez crisis. Ray Ewers created two replacements – one erected in Albany in 1964 and the other in Canberra in 1968. In 1995 Ray was awarded an OAM, just three years before he passed away.
  • Our guests this week included many pupils – student councillors – from Floreat Park Primary School, some parents, staff and the Principal, Jane Rowlands. It was lovely to see you all; thanks for coming along.