Peter Corlett produced this confronting, life-sized piece which was installed in the grounds of Melbourne University in 1990, entitled ‘Mr. Lee’. It is a portrait of a well-known Fitzroy local.
Peter is a brilliant sculptor, renowned for extremely life-like figurative work in bronze and epoxy resin. He has created some of Australia's best-known sculptures, including the imposing figure of WW11 hero Edward "Weary" Dunlop which stands near the War Memorial in St. Kilda Road, Melbourne.
Peter told me that while the approach to the Weary sculpture was being debated by a committee of the Returned Soldiers League, who would have liked to portray Weary in his torn, muddied battle clothes, he simply told them that he would decide what to do when he met the great man. He was greeted at Weary's door by a tall, gentle man dressed in a fine suit. That was it! Peter learned, during conversation, that this man had developed a respect for his Oriental enemy.
Next time you're in St. Kilda Road, have a close look at the piece. You will notice that one of his hands has the thumb and middle finger touching, part of the pose adopted during Buddhist meditation; and he is wearing a very fine suit.