School Sculpture

The LPPS Sculpture - 'Achievement'

In 2002 John Ahearne, an artist studying at Frankston TAFE, was commissioned to design a large scale sculpture for the school. The inspiration for his work 'Achievement' came from the world famous Bradshaw Paintings discovered in the Kimberley region of Western Australia in the 1900s.

These ancient cave paintings were discovered when Captain Joseph Bradshaw and his brother rode west from Central North Australia in search of new grazing land for their cattle. The terrain became so rough somewhere north of the Prince Regent River, in the heart of Kimberley, that he and his brother became lost and stumbled upon a group of caves. When they explored them they found a series of incredibly sophisticated paintings which have become known as the Bradshaw Paintings.

The paintings were not recent creations but originate from an unknown past period. When the first settlers occupied the area, the Aborigines told them that the Bradshaw Paintings were "before their time". According to legend, they were made by birds. It was said that these birds pecked the rocks until their beaks bled, and then created these fine paintings by using a tail feather and their own blood. This art is of such antiquity that no pigment remains on the rock surface, it is impossible to use carbon dating technology.

Fortuitously, in 1996 Grahame Walsh discovered a Bradshaw Painting partly covered by a fossilised Mud Wasp nest, which scientists have removed and analysed using a new technique of dating, determining it to be 17,000 + years old. This discovery lends solid support to Grahame's theories about the true antiquity of these works of art. They are considered to be amongst the most Ancient Rock Paintings of Earth?

The artist John Ahearne, noting that the Bradshaw figures were examples of how ideas, messages, stories could be illustrated two dimensionally through simple forms, created the cluster of thin three dimensional forms which look as they have moved from the cave walls into life! The forms are meant to be touched and our students relate very well to the five figures which symbolise striving for ACHIEVEMENT through collaboration and cooperation.


The sculpture takes pride of place in the central courtyard of Langwarrin Park Primary School.


The information and visuals on the Bradshaw Paintings was compiled from the Bradshaw Foundation. Have a visit and find out more about the paintings that acted as the inspiration for our school's magnificent sculpture.