John Christie Wright Memorial Fountain

Related to City Art
Installed 1960
A bowel shaped copper fountain spurting water on a stone base set amongst parkland
Top down view of a bowel shaped copper fountain spurting water
A fountain set among trees and greenery with large statue background, set against a city backdrop

A delicate copper form sits on a stone base erected in memory of sculptor John Christie Wright.

Artist: Gerald Lewers 

Artwork description

The John Christie Wright Fountain, at the corner of Loftus and Bridge streets, is characterised by a single vertical jet that contrasts with fan shaped water extending from the curved form of a small copper bowl. An overflow cascades onto the surrounding river stones and garden bed.

The fountain is a memorial to the young Scottish-born Australian sculptor John Christie Wright (1889–1917).

Wright moved to Australia in 1912 and was awarded the Wynne Prize for sculpture in 1915. In 1917 he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force and was killed in action in France on 3 May.


Gerald Lewers (1905–1962) was born in Hobart and developed an interest in sculpture during childhood. In 1950 he retired from his job as construction engineer in the firm Farley & Lewers to dedicate himself full-time to sculpture.

Lewer’s fountains were largely abstract, unlike his sculpture, and all feature a wonderful balance of sculptural and water forms. He was fascinated by dynamic movement and felt copper was best suited to creating forms that complemented the flow of water.

Gerald and his wife Margot Lewers were leading artists in the development of modernism in Australian art. Their art collection and home at Emu Plains on the Nepean River were bequeathed by family to Penrith City Council in 1980. It opened the following year as Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest.

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