Historical information

Alan Marshall was an author of more than fifteen books, and lived much of his life in Eltham. He became a central figure in the area's arts community of writers, artists, sculptors, film makers, actors and musicians. He is shown stroking a book to his heart, perched on a crutch, which references his disability (contracted polio when he was young), and his status as one of Australia's most successful and loved authors. His most famous book, 'I Can Jump Puddles' is based on his life story and the obstacles he faced as a child in trying to overcome his disability.

Marcus Skipper submitted the idea for the work to the first 'Art in Public Places' Awards in 1990. The selectors at the time recommended that the work would be more suitably placed near the Eltham Library. It was commissioned and installed for the new Eltham Library, which was designed by Greg Burgess in 1994. It was partially funded by the then Shire of Eltham's Art Development Fund (Eltham Arts Council) and the rest donated by the artist Marcus Skipper.


This work has significance for its reference to two well known names associated with Eltham and its history. The sculpture is a realistic statue of the famous Australian author Alan Marshall who wrote "I Can Jump Puddles". He lived and worked in the Shire. The artist Marcus Skipper represents a highly recognised family of artists associated with Monsalvat. The sculpture 'Alan marshall' has been classified as of regional significance by the National Trust of Australia.

Physical description

A realistic depiction (almost life size) of Alan Marshall cast in bronze with green patination. Dressed in a jumper and slacks, Marshall is shown perched on a crutch, holding a book to his heart, gesturing to his audience to come and listen to his words.