From 1891, the Gibbs family lived in South Perth, across the river from Perth city centre. Both of May’s parents were artists and they entertained other art and music lovers in their home.
When she was 19 years old May took formal art lessons in Perth and then spent three periods in England studying and working. She returned to live in Australia in 1911, settling in Sydney.
The City of South Perth remembers the young May Gibbs with a statue in Windsor Park which is on the corner of Mends St, and Mill Point Rd. The sculpture by Joan Walsh-Smith and Charles Smith, shows May sitting under a gum tree reading a book. While the rest of the park has European trees, May Gibbs is surround by gum trees and Australian native plants.