Design for Mary statue decided

THE HIGHLANDS has taken the next step toward commemorating the birth of the character Mary Poppins with the preferred statue design announced on Monday.

The chosen design is Option 1 by Newcastle-based sculptor Tanya Bartlett and depicts the no-nonsense nanny looking skyward with her umbrella outstretched, conservative suit and carpetbag in tow.

Originally 11 submissions were made and three shortlisted, which were then judged by the public and an independent assessment panel (by blind process).

The sculpture is a commemoration of events, which happened in Bowral when author P.L. Travers was 11 and told of a magical white horse, which would eventually run underground and rise as Mary Poppins.

Ms Bartlett has been sculpting for the past 11 years and was inspired to enter the call for statue submissions when she heard of the news through the Southern Highlands Youth Arts Council (SHYAC).

The maquette (small scale model) came together for Ms Bartlett through a combination of the Disney image of Poppins, sketches by British sculptor Sean Crampton and illustrations of the nanny in children’s books.

The bronze statue is destined for Glebe Park, near Donald Bradman, which Miss Barlett also designed, and Travers’ former home in Holly Street, Bowral.

Panel chairperson Michael Ball said the statue would see the union of Poppins and Bradman.

“Today they are being joined together, not in holy matrimony but in reverent memory,” he said.

Club Bowral has announced it will be a foundation sponsor of the statue, providing funding to help produce the first in a series of limited edition bronze maquettes.

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