Alexander Forrest, CMG (1849-1901) was an explorer. He was also the government surveyor for Western Australia and a Member of Parliament. He explored many remote areas of Western Australia, in particular the Kimberley region, often in the company of his brother, Sir John Forrest (1847-1901), first Premier of Western Australia. They were often the first white colonists in those areas.
His statue stands at the entrance to Stirling Gardens, It was originally placed on the corner of Mount Street and St George’s Terrace. It was relocated here in 1916 to give it a more prominent location and has remained here for more than a century, overlooking the Treasury Buildings. He is portrayed in the uniform he wore when exploring.
The sculptor was Pietro Porcelli (1872-1943), who came originally from Naples. The figure was first built in the nude out of Guildford clay and then draped. It was subsequently modelled in plaster of Paris and then sent to Italy for casting in wax and subsequently in bronze. It was made in 1902. The statue is more than ten metres high and was placed on a pedestal of Donnybrook stone, making it more than three metres from the ground. It was not only the largest statue produced in Western Australia at that time, it was also the first such to commemorate a local person.
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