Public Art : Judith Statue ( also simply known as Judith)
Sculptor : © Karin Wigan (nee Tulloch)
Description : A bronze sculpture of a naked nine year old Judith Fyfe as she sits pondering in thought with her head resting on one of her knees. The bronze plinth includes a braille description.
Date Unveiled : The statue of Judith was unveiled on the 11th of December , 2008, with Judith in attendance.
Location : If you wander down London Court from the Hay Street Mall and then cross over St George’s Terrace and walk a little way to your right, you will come across Howard Street. It truly is one of Perth’s best kept secrets. Down this narrow street in a little alcove you will find Judith sitting on her plinth. Look up and you will see the room where she and her family lived.
Artist : Karin Tulloch, 1936
In 1936, nine year old Judith Fyfe and her family lived in rooms at the top of this building. Karin Tulloch was a young artist in a studio also on Howard Street. Judith sat patiently over three wintry months as the model for Kain’s sculpture, which was first exhibited in 1937.
This statue was unveiled by the
Rt Honourable the Lord Mayor Ms Lisa Scaffidi
on 11th December 2008
The sculpture was created by Karin Wigan (nee Tulloch)
and given to the City of Perth by Judith Anketell (nee Fyfe) in 2008.
Statue and plinth by Perth Castings 2008
Background to the Judith Statue : The 1930’s wasn’t a particularly happy time for some, as the Great Depression (1929-1933) had left a heavy toll on businesses and families all around the world.
The Fyfe family were no different. Judith’s dad had lost his job after the bank he worked for collapsed. The family soon found themselves without an income, savings or home. Fortunately they were able to find cheap rent in a caretaker’s flat on the top floor of 18 Howard Street in the central city of Perth.
Judith’s mother soon got friendly with a group of artists who had a studio nearby. It wasn’t long before one thing lead to another and suddenly 9 year old Judith found herself modelling for one of the artists, Karin Tulloch.
Each day after school the young Judith would sit and pose for the sculptor. The only thing she had to keep herself warm was a small radiator and the only thing she had to amuse herself was a window in which she could spy on the Esplanade Hotel staff polishing the silver and setting the tables in readiness for the evening meals.
Finally after several months the plaster scultpure was completed and Judith was rewarded for her patience with a small chrome bedside clock .
The following year Karin Tulloch entered “Judith” in the Annual Exhibition of the Western Australian Women Painters and Appied Arts Society and came first place. Sadly, before “Judith” could be crated to Britain for casting in bronze, World War II broke out and it never left Fremantle.
A few years passed and Karin decided to move to Melbourne but when she discovered how expensive it was going to be to ship all of her works she decided to give them to her models.
When “Judith” was put on display at the Art Gallery of Western Australia in 1995, it attracted a great amount of attention.
In February, 2006, Judith Fyfe (now Anketell) offered the sculpture to the City of Perth. Thankfully they saw the historically and artistic value of the work and had it finally cast in bronze.
Ironically after 72 years, “Judith” has finally returned home.