Lloyd Rees

Related to City Art
Installed 1990
A life-sized bronze bust of Lloyd Rees mounted on a sandstone pedestal
A life-sized bronze bust of Lloyd Rees mounted on a sandstone pedestal with plaque

A life-sized bust of landscape painter Lloyd Rees mounted on a sandstone pedestal.

Artist: Lawrence Beck

Artwork description

The sculpture is a life-sized bust of Australian painter Lloyd Rees. It features a roughly granulated bronze surface and is mounted on a tall pedestal made from Sydney sandstone to match Sydney Town Hall and St Andrew’s Cathedral.

It is in a small area of garden outside Sydney Town Hall on the corner of George and Druitt streets.

More information

Lloyd Rees was an Australian landscape painter who twice won the Wynne Prize for his landscape paintings. Throughout his long creative life, Rees always loved cities and expressed this love through paintings and drawings. Though the form of his art changed over time, he retained his interest in interpreting the character, the architecture, the public sculpture and the elements of nature in the cities he adored. Sydney, along with Brisbane, was on his list of favourite places.

Artist Lawrence Beck designed the sculpture to reflect the sunlight, which Rees loved and portrayed so consistently in his work. The daily movement of the sun over the sculpture’s rough textured surface, he contended, would create an impression of change.

The sculpture was also designed to project the idea of Rees’s ‘perspective, kind and incredibly tough character’ across a square or street. Of equal importance the site harmonised with Rees’s views on his surroundings. Rees considered that St Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney Town Hall and the Queen Victoria Building were ‘the 3 best Victorian buildings in the world’.

The inscription chosen for the sculpture is also full of meaning. It helps to synthesise the artist and his message by the way of Rees’s stimulating assertion that a ‘city is the greatest work of art possible’. At the same time it opens up a new interpretation of the city theme, suggesting an inner and deeper meaning to the visual impact, while serving as a subtle reminder of Rees’s important contribution to the development of architectural training in Sydney, through his innovative work with students.


Lawrence Beck (also known as Lawrence Gundabuka) was born in 1942 in Forbes, NSW. He studied at Julian Ashton’s Art School in Sydney (1959), at East Sydney Technical College under Lyndon Dadswell (1960–1962), at Hornsey College, London (1962) and at the Nikolai Povovich Academy of Fine Art in Bulgaria (1964–1966).

He has won numerous awards and a collection of his work is held at the National Gallery of Sofia, Bulgaria.

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