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50th Anniversary Commemorative Sculpture - Sacred Heart College

Artists Concept


Sacred Heart College Sorrento- 50th Anniversary Commemorative Sculpture:

“Always striving upwards”

Artist’s Concept:


We see this project as an opportunity to incorporate the founding ideals, as expressed in the General Chapter Document of the Order in 2008, through the contemporary medium of scientific inquiry and investigation of the great mystery that is all Creation:


Seized anew by the mystery of God,
            Who is Silence
      we receive the Word of Life,
          and fired by the Spirit,
we share life and love with all creation.

Our sculpture proposal is basically a simple one, focused on a bronze figure of an RNDM nun. This sculpture is symbolic of those who laid the foundation of this college, and all those who continued the hard work in the tradition of the founder of the Order, Sister Adele Euphrasie Barbier, here in Sorrento, which was then such a remote part of the World, Australia and indeed, even Perth.

As an expression of the nature of this rather wild and harsh coastal environment at Sorrento, we have endeavoured to symbolise this setting, through the wind-blown effect of the nun’s veil
Consequently, our sculpture of the nun, is represented in a still and pensive manner.  She holds in her hands a book, symbolic of learning, teaching but also, prayer. She is, however, captured at a crucial moment of inspiration and contact with the Cosmos, as she looks up, and gazes at the Heavens in awe, while seated upon a low bench, designed to encourage interactive contact with the sculpture. Given the posture of the figure, gazing up at the sky, the sculpture also articulates the concept of “Always striving upwards” which expresses the ethos of the Sacred Heart College and has become the definitive school motto.


Facing the Observatory, she also incorporates a scientific ideal, becoming a ‘living timepiece’ for those who stand around her, their shadows falling on the ground; reminding them through the words of this poem of the vitality of life as we all pass through time and the essence of the moment.

The shadow by my finger cast
Divides the future from the past:
Before it, sleeps the unborn hour,
In darkness, and beyond thy power:
Behind its unreturning line,
The vanished hour, no longer thine:
One hour alone is in thy hands,
The now on which the shadow stands.

~ Henry Van Dyke 1911





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