W. Leslie Bowles 1940 / DIANA AND THE HOUNDS / BY WILLIAM LESLIE BOWLES / UNVEILED BY THE LORD MAYOR, COUNCILLOR COLES / ON 4TH SEPTEMBER, 1940.
Diana and the Hounds, William Leslie Bowles; founder A.B. Brunton, Cast bronze statue on granite pedestal, 1940, Conservatory, Fitzroy Gardens
Location: Conservatory, Fitzroy Gardens
Cast bronze sculpture of Diana, bare breasted, dressed in a skirt, with her proper left arm raised whilst her proper right arm holds a bow. She is flanked by two hound dogs. One dog stands on his back legs and rests his chin against Diana’s left hip. The other dog walks by her right side. The group is on a self-base which is mounted on a rough cut granite plinth, which sits on a rectangular concrete base and acts as an island in the middle of the lily pond in which it is placed.
William Leslie Bowles joined the Australian War Memorial as a sculptor and model maker in 1924. After leaving the memorial he took on public commissions. In 1935, three of Bowles’ designs were selected to replace the existing and much deteriorated statuary in Fitzroy Gardens. His Diana and the Hounds replaced a cement statue copied from the Roman Diana, Goddess of Mood and Contemplation, held in the Vatican.
The mould was completed in 1939 but the onset of the Second World War temporarily delayed casting by A.B. Brunton in London. The statue was in fact the last to be cast in Britain before the war and had to run the gauntlet of German U-Boats on its return to Australia. It was erected in a specially designed lily pond in front of the conservatory and was unveiled by Lord Mayor, Councillor Coles on the 4th of September, 1940.