Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - VIC­TO­RIA NU­GENT

IT would take four months to cast North Queens­land Cow­boys leg­end Johnathan Thurston into bronze to cre­ate a statue in his hon­our.

Bris­bane artist Phillip Piperides is the man be­hind the bronze statue of Dar­ren Lock­yer at Sun­corp Sta­dium and says he would be in­ter­ested in any com­mis­sion for a Thurston statue.

“I’m a fan, I watch the games,” he said. “He’s an ac­tion man so it’d be an ac­tion pose.”

Piperides is also be­hind bronze sculp­tures of the Bee Gees at Red­cliffe, the Steve Ir­win me­mo­rial at Aus­tralia Zoo, Vic­to­ria’s Kokoda Mates statue and like­nesses of nu­mer­ous gov­ern­ment fig­ures.

He said it typ­i­cally took him and his team three months to cre­ate a life- size clay model, which would then go through ap­provals be­fore be­ing cast in bronze.

“Gen­er­ally I get a cou­ple of months to cre­ate the art­work ... it de­pends if the sub­ject is avail­able and how we’re do­ing it,” he said.

“With the Bee Gees sculp­ture, Barry Gibbs was co- or­di­nat­ing that from the ( United) States.

“Some­times we do it from images ... we can do poses it they’re able to.

“There’s a team in­volved ... there are four peo­ple on th­ese jobs.”

Piperides said there was al­ways a lot of in­ter­est around the cre­ation process of NRL stars’ bronze like­nesses.

“There’s al­ways a buzz of course be­cause of the na­ture of the peo­ple who are in the in­dus­try,” he said. “It’s very ex­cit­ing.” Con­vener of the North Queens­land Cow­boys Sup­port­ers Face­book page Kym Prest said she be­lieved a bronze statue of Thurston would be a great ad­di­tion to the new sta­dium.

“I think if there’s go­ing to be one it needs to be done when the sta­dium opens,” she said.

“I’ve just come back from Sun­corp Sta­dium and the ones they have down there are a fea­ture in them­selves.

“Peo­ple come to see them and take pho­to­graphs.”

Ms Prest said even if Sun­corp Sta­dium ended up do­ing their own bronze statue of Thurston, Townsville de­served one too. “Who cares if there’s two of them?” she said. “He’s a


A stake­holder meet­ing about the sta­dium will be held in Townsville this week.

A spokes­woman for Sta­di­ums Queens­land said monthly stake­holder work­shop meet­ings are held in Townsville with rel­e­vant par­ties, in­clud­ing mem­bers of the North Queens­land Cow­boys, ar­chi­tects and other lo­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

“With early site works un­der way, next week’s agenda in­cludes de­tailed in­for­ma­tion around sta­dium in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal de­sign and early dis­cus­sion about venue op­er­a­tions,” she said.

“Sta­di­ums Queens­land will not be re­spon­si­ble for de­ter­min­ing whether a statue is com­mis­sioned but would work with all rel­e­vant stake­hold­ers re­gard­ing any fu­ture pro­pos­als.”

YOU BEAUTY: An idea of what a statue of the in­fa­mous Johnathan Thurston gold­en­point field goal might look like out­side Townsville’s new sta­dium in 2020 ( above).

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