Diagnosis changes artist’s attitude to Eliza’s fashion statements

Sculptor Tony Jones never envisaged Eliza’s dress changes. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d421448
Sculptor Tony Jones never envisaged Eliza’s dress changes. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d421448

After being diagnosed with prostate cancer and having surgery in February, the East Fremantle resident said he decided to join physiotherapist Jo Milios in dressing up Eliza to promote Men’s Health Week.

‘I haven’t had any involvement in the other outfits, but this time in particular had special meaning and importance to me,’ he said.

‘I used to get very panicky every time I had to have an exam, but my wife said, ‘They’re looking after you, just go’, so I would.

‘People get stressed about the various digital tests, but it’s really nothing in comparison. My prostate cancer diagnosis was fairly confronting, but I think of what Jo said to me: ‘Get out there and tell people to look after themselves, don’t shut up about it’.’

Ms Milios said she waded ‘up to her neck’ into the freezing cold Swan River four times to make sure Eliza was dressed properly and her sign faced Mounts Bay Road.

Despite helping dress Eliza last week, Mr Jones said he was still getting used to seeing his bronze statue in different outfits.

‘Initially we were a bit concerned because that wasn’t why she was there,’ he said.

‘But everyone told us to chill out, and in fact, the notoriety has been very positive.’