New plan revealed to restore Pikeman's Dog at Eureka

M.A.D.E public art coordinator Julie Collins with the statue of Wee Jock. PICTURE: KATE HEALY

M.A.D.E public art coordinator Julie Collins with the statue of Wee Jock. PICTURE: KATE HEALY

DESIGNS for a new memorial which would see the Pikeman's Dog returned to the site of the Eureka Stockade have been unveiled.

The new memorial would see 22 large golden stockade posts – representing the number of diggers killed in battle – erected in a triangle behind the statue of Wee Jock, on high ground outside the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka.

In a submission to council, the statue's original artists Charles Smith and Joan Walsh-Smith said the new memorial would make Wee Jock more prominent than ever.

The proposed new Pikeman's Dog memorial. PICTURE: SMITH SCULPTORS

The proposed new Pikeman's Dog memorial. PICTURE: SMITH SCULPTORS

"This 'new incarnation' will be a much more significant memorial than the original, and much more accessible to the public," they said.

"We have set the golden stockade post/poles in a graphically precise angle to each other, which both leads the eye to the dog and the pike, while, at the same time, creating a sense of controlled visual 'unease'.

"Essentially, the impression is one of 'controlled collapse' while suggestive of purpose and final victory."

The posts will be spaced far enough apart for people to walk between them.

The proposed new Pikeman's Dog memorial. PICTURE: SMITH SCULPTORS

The proposed new Pikeman's Dog memorial. PICTURE: SMITH SCULPTORS

Mayor Joshua Morris said that while council had yet to vote on the design, it was keen to see the Pikeman's Dog returned to the Eureka site.

"We certainly recognise that the Pikeman's Dog plays an important part in the Eureka Story," he said.

"It was off public display for some time, so we are quite keen to see it back in its rightful place."

The Pikeman's Dog statue celebrates Wee Jock, the Irish terrier who was said to have stayed by his owner's side even after his death at Eureka. It was unveiled in 1999 but then removed during the redevelopment of the former Eureka Centre.

The proposed new memorial has been recommended by the Public Art Advisory Committee and will be considered at Wednesday night's council meeting.

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