A sneak peek at Gillard's bust

The bust of Ms Gillard
The bust of Ms Gillard

PRIME Minister Julia Gillard is one step closer to being immortalised in Ballarat’s Botanical Gardens after photos of unfinished preliminary models for her official sculpture were released online yesterday.

Sculptor Peter Nicholson used his website and Twitter to show working models of the likeness of Australia’s first female prime minister.

Mr Nicholson has created busts of Malcolm Fraser, Bob Hawke, Paul Keating, John Howard and Kevin Rudd for the Ballarat collection and began his current work in January.

“When I do a portrait bust I start off by making several small, quick maquettes,” Mr Nicholson said.

“When they get to a certain stage I just abandon them, mistakes and all, and get on with another one.

“The result is eventually I can do the final large head working quickly and freely almost entirely from memory.”

Ms Gillard will become the 27th addition to the historic collection, which was created after a bequest to the city of Ballarat from parliamentarian and arts patron Richard Armstrong Crouch.

Each of Australia’s prime ministers are included in the collection, regardless of the length of their time in office.

Mr Nicholson said he would continue to post photos of the sculptures online at www.nicholsoncartoons.com.au