|With thanks to Bodo and Robyn Muche, our German visitors can read a translation of this article here.|
German-born sculptor Bodo Muche and his wife Robyn envisage a larger-than-life bronze statue of the great explorer. Here, they have very kindly shared some images and information about this exciting project.
A number of locations seem to suggest themselves for such a monument ~ perhaps the proposed Leichhardt Centre in Taroom? What about gazing out from the heights of Kakadu? Possibly even in home-town Spreewald or Cottbus? Click on any of the maquette images below to see a larger version.
Bodo writes: "As an Australian naturalist of German origin, I have had an empathy for and intense interest in the explorer Ludwig Leichhardt for the last thirty years. Leichhardt’s "Reisebericht” of his journey to Port Essington provided the most valuable information for me, and our 2013 travels along Leichhardt’s route, visits and discussions with people were all of great assistance. Our daughter Tania and her husband Jock Warriner manage Wrotham Park Station, an historic, two million acre cattle property on Cape York Peninsula, through which terrain Leichhardt traveled along the Lynd and Mitchell Rivers.
"There we visited the confluence of the rivers – where Leichhardt and his party would have camped – and his next camping spot on Highbury Station on the Mitchell. This magical river area had special significance for Leichhardt. These two rivers, named by him, were the first to flow west and proved to Leichhardt and his companions, that they were on the right track to Port Essington.
Above: tranquil scene on the Lynd and Mitchell Rivers, essentially unchanged from the view which
Leichhardt and his party themselves had, 170 years ago. (Image courtesy Bodo & Robyn Muche)
"Having had the experience in researching, modeling and producing in bronze or stainless steel several iconic Australian people and animals, which have been installed as life size monumental sculptures, I am pleased to present this concept of a Leichhardt monument, life size in bronze.
"This depicts a naturalistic figure of the explorer, reflecting his vision of the journey into the unknown. He carries a satchel for collecting natural history specimens and is resting a foot on a termite mound, typical of those found during his travels in northern Australia. Also included in the sculpture could be a dachshund, which accompanied Leichhardt for most of this journey.
"We all know that Leichhardt, on his last safari to the Swan River settlement, never got there. He was last seen in Southwestern Queensland leaving Coogan Station, established by Allan McPherson. Leichhardt’s scientific and trail blazing achievements for Australia are immense and he would have to be regarded as one of the greatest Australians who ever explored this continent.
"On the 23rd of October we celebrated Leichhardt’s 200th birthday. I made a 35cm-high maquette of the explorer for this occasion and my wife Robyn and I sincerely hope that a life-size bronze sculpture of Leichhardt in his honour will come to fruition."
To find out more about Bodo and his works, click on the logo below to visit his website (opens a new window).