Beloved Sculpture in River Heart Parklands to be Relocated

River Heart Parklands
Photo Credit: Google Maps

In the heart of Ipswich’s River Heart Parklands, an iconic piece of public art called “Looking Back to a Childhood” is set to be relocated due to its vulnerability to floods and potential vandalism. 

This bronze sculpture, created by renowned Queensland sculptor Dr. Rhyl Hinwood AM, from Kenmore Hills, depicts young children playing on a riverbank with their pet dog. The decision to temporarily move the artwork comes after it was affected by the 2022 floods, prompting concerns about its preservation.

River Heart Parklands
Photo Credit: Heather Stevenson/Google Maps

Dr Hinwood’s remarkable contributions to visual art have been recognised through various accolades, such as her appointment as Patron of Sculptures Queensland in 2015 and her induction as a Member, General Division of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2006. Her dedication to her craft and the cultural enrichment of Ipswich are evident in this cherished sculpture.

Preservation of a Priceless Piece of Art

The careful removal of the artwork has already taken place, with council officers ensuring its secure storage while the community and council work together to find a new location for public display.

Community, Culture, Arts and Sport Committee Chairperson Councillor Andrew Fechner expressed the importance of protecting this significant piece of public art.

Dr. Rhyl Hinwood AM
Photo Credit: Sculptors Queensland

 “Dr. Hinwood is one of Australia’s most respected artists, and it is a privilege for Ipswich to have one of her artworks in our public art collection,” he said. 

While River Heart Parklands is undergoing restoration efforts following the 2022 floods, the city council aims to safeguard this cherished artwork from further damage.

“Council has decided to temporarily remove the sculptures and store them safely until a new, permanent location can be identified. Ipswich Art Gallery Director Claire Sourgnes has advised our Assets and Infrastructure Services team on the removal of the statues,” Cr Fechner added. 

A Journey from D’Arcy Doyle Place to River Heart Parklands

This iconic artwork was commissioned by Ipswich City Council in 1993 and was initially situated in D’Arcy Doyle Place. In the early 2000s, it found its new home in the scenic River Heart Parklands.

River Heart Parklands
Photo Credit: Heather Stevenson/Google Maps

Division 3 Councillor Marnie Doyle revealed that during this process, it was identified that two of the five bronze children from the sculpture were missing. To preserve and present the artwork more widely for the community’s enjoyment, the decision to relocate it to a more prominent and suitable location has been made.

“’‘Looking Back to a Childhood’ is an artwork with a story we can all recognise – the light-hearted joy of exploring a riverbank and the hidden delights of native animals and plants,” said Cr. Doyle.

She went on to explain that four of the bronze children were relocated to River Heart Parklands in the early 2000s, but the fifth was not. The loss of another bronze child was noted during the flood cleanup, prompting the need for the relocation and discussions with the community regarding its future display.

Published 3-Nov-2023