Not without Chomley
Created by Anne Ross. Cast Bronze
Not without Chomley guards the Richardson Street entrance of Gasworks Arts Park. This sculpture purveys a strong narrative statement about man’s best friend. The sculpture is made of two main pieces – one human figure with dog on shoulder and a second piece of a dog standing.The canine figure being lifted above the man’s head is an acknowledgment of dogs and their owners as important Gasworks stakeholders and the value they bring to our community.
This was the first public sculpture installed in the park. It was purchased in 1991 by the mayor from the first Gasworks sculpture exhibition as a gift to the people of South Melbourne. This was a revolutionary moment as such a gift had never before been chosen for this purpose.
At the time it was made of cement fondu, a fragile material but all that the artist could afford.
One night it was smashed to pieces with a sledge hammer. For a while, there was a stunned sense of helplessness. Then slowly it became clear that there was considerable anger and distress about the vandalism in the local community. As a result, council felt prompted and empowered to have it recast in bronze - at a price far higher than the original purchase cost.
This was the beginning of the Gasworks public sculpture collection. The care and concern expressed by the local community for the protection and promotion of the arts was pivotal and this dynamic continues to this day.