Australian-based, internationally renowned sculpture artists Gillie and Marc are set to immortalise club legends Cameron Smith and Billy Slater in statue, thanks to the Victorian Government.
The artists have been announced today as the successful applicants to design and produce the statues which will be located adjacent to Storm’s home ground at AAMI Park.
Over 25 years, Gillie and Marc have developed a worldwide reputation for delivering quality private and public artworks.
Their work can be found in major art galleries and public sites in more than 250 cities around the world, including their recent production of 10 sculptures of the world’s most inspirational women set in New York City, featuring Oprah Winfrey, Jane Goodall, Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett and P!nk.
Smith and Slater each boast a long list of outstanding achievements reflecting the amazing and dominant athletes they are and their remarkable resilience at the top of the game over long and distinguished careers.
The statues will recognise and celebrate the successful careers of both players, immortalising them in sporting history and helping to inspire the next generation of Victorian rugby league players and supporters.
'We feel honoured to sculpt two incredible rugby league players'
Billy Slater is recognised as one of the all-time great rugby league fullbacks to play the game, having played more than 300 games for Storm.
He is a dual premiership player and Clive Churchill Medallist, a Dally M Medallist and ranks second for the greatest number of tries scored by any player in NRL history.
Slater represented the Queensland Maroons 31 times in State of Origin and the Australian Kangaroos 30 times in internationals.
Cameron Smith has been captain of Melbourne Storm since 2006 and has led the team to seven grand finals and Queensland to a record 12 State of Origin titles in 13 years.
He has won every individual and collective honour in the game and along the way has broken the record for the most points scored by any player in NRL history and most games played in the NRL, having reached 400 matches in 2019.
The Victorian Government is partnering with Melbourne & Olympic Parks Trust, Melbourne Storm and the National Rugby League to deliver the statues, which will be engineered in bronze right here in Melbourne and are expected to be unveiled during the 2020 NRL season.
The Victorian Government has also committed $12 million to build the Rugby League Centre of Excellence in Broadmeadows, which will be the new home for the sport in Victoria.
In addition to Storm’s home games at AAMI Park, five major representative matches will be played in Victoria in the next six years, including State of Origin clashes in 2021 and 2025, and International Test Matches in 2022 and 2023.