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Deborah Edwards

(b Isle of Man, Nov 27, 1894; d Sydney, Nov 19, 1937).

Australian sculptor of British birth. He studied at Nottingham School of Art from 1910 to 1915 and again, after active service in World War I, in 1919. He then transferred to the Royal College of Art, London, and was awarded a diploma in sculpture in 1921. In 1922 he received a British School in Rome scholarship for study in Italy but cut this short and emigrated to Australia in May 1923 to become head teacher of the sculpture department at East Sydney Technical College.

Hoff’s work belongs to an inter-war classical revival and his sculptures attest to his absorption of the Paganist–Vitalist theories promoted in Australia in the 1920s and 1930s by his close associate Norman Lindsay. Hoff’s work was generally life-affirming and sexually adventurous for its period. His major paganist sculpture is the relief Deluge: Stampede of the Lower Gods (4.5 m wide; 1925–7; Canberra, N.G.), which depicts crowds of mermaids, dryads, tritons, satyrs and Australian Aborigines. The life-size ...