Skip to main content
Now building my TET.Life Store.

Gunner Bill's Gallery - Bute, South Australia


May 17, 2009

I was all ready to bag the town of Bute as not being worth the visit but then Enigma and I had a look around Gunner Bill's Gallery in Bute and I changed my mind. First though, let's back up a bit.

After spending our Saturday at the Cornish Festival in Moonta, Enigma and I were wondering how to spend our Sunday, the final day of our holiday? We knew there was a fair on at Kadina for the final day of the Cornish Festival but we had a sneaking suspicion we'd see pretty much all the same food vans we saw at the fair at Moonta so decided not to go.

I read in a tourist magazine a single paragraph about the town of Bute which mentioned that the town had an award winning fauna park and a Gallery/museum/craft shop. Thinking the fauna park might be a good animal photo opportunity and the Gallery could be interesting we decided to go. Bute was on the way home anyway (we passed through it on the trip to Port Broughton but it was dark then).

Bute is small so the fauna park was easy to find. Like any kind of park you usually find a gate to go in. This park didn't have one. You simply walk around the fenced off perimeter and view the animals within. A sign behind the fence informed us that this was Bob Brokate Park.

How it became an 'award winning' fauna park I'll never know? It's not that the animals don't look well kept or that the caged areas aren't appropriate for each animal, it's just that there is nothing special about it. As a park it's functional but that's about all.

Enigma and I deduced that it probably won an award for the best fauna park in Bute because it's no Gorge Wildlife park. However it's free and we did get one or two good photos of emus, wallabies and birds.

Bute is a very small town and you've got to love a town where some local has enhanced its entry statement with a spray painted shout out to the local football team (I'm assuming) across the middle of the road.

The statement you can see on the road in this photo on the right proclaims; "BCC A GRADE PREMIERS 5 IN A ROW". That's five in a row!

It's at this point I was thinking Bute wasn't really a town I'd go out of my way to see but after killing enough time waiting for Gunner Bill's Gallery and Craft to open at 11am Enigma and I finally got to go in and have a look around.

The Gallery and Craft aspect of Gunner Bill's is high quality with more craft than art but you could see this stuff in almost any rural, South Australian town. What changed my mind was the museum which, unlike most museums I've seen around South Australia focuses, in part, on the Australian Swag man. In particular one swag man known as Gunner Bill.

I didn't take in much about Gunner Bill but I did notice one photo of him receiving a food package as late as 1956 when he was still living the swag man's life style. I don't know a lot about the history of swag men but, at a guess, I would've thought the traditional Australian Swag man were few and far between by 1956. I could be wrong but I always thought they were from a much earlier era in Australian history.

The Gallery has a self published book featuring Swag man stories that I would've liked to have bought but unfortunately my budget wouldn't allow it.

Anyhow, if you have a particular interest in the history of the swag man then Bute is a good place to start your research or at least to learn about one, some what, famous local 'swaggie'. That aspect of Bute's history gives it a point of difference from other towns in the region.

Unfortunately my camera batteries were low by the time we got to the gallery so I was being very selective about taking photos however if you do happen visit Bute you'll find Gunner Bill's Gallery in the old Police Station just across the road from Bute Railway station.

Comments

  1. I don't know why it was an 'award winning' fauna park either, but the animals would be interesting anyway.

    Your blogs don't send notifications like MySpace do, you just have to check back, and remember which ones if you posted for more than one. Is there a feature for this to enable?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I meant notifications of replies, as I get notified when you've put a blog on with being subscribed.

    ReplyDelete
  3. If you click the link 'Subscribe by email' that appears just below each 'Post a Comment' box you'll be notified of replies to just that specific post. Once you're subscribed to a specific post you can unsubscribe simply by clicking the same link again (which you'll notice has changed to 'unsubscribe').

    ReplyDelete
  4. It is an award winning park as there are facilities for kids, parents, BBQ's and to just kick back and relax whilst watching the animals.
    The park was started in approx 1974 by the Bute Rural Youth, then the Lions Club when the Rural youth folded. The sign on the road related to the Bute Cricket Club!
    Next time talk to some locals and we'll only be too happy to enlighten you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As I recall we were just passing through Bute and stayed for an hour or two. Didn't see any locals to really talk to other than at the gallery. Probably because it was Sunday morning - if we weren't travelling I wouldn't usually be out and about on a Sunday morning either.

      We couldn't see any of the facilities you mention near the wildlife park - seemed like all you could do was walk around the perimeter fence.

      I'm not that familiar with sports but you don't usually get that kind of blatant enthusiasm from cricket fans. Seemed like something a footy fan would do to me - but I stand corrected).

      Delete
    2. The gallery is run by locals. There is an undercover BBQ area at the park & Across the road. The playground at the fauna park (inc tractor) may be a little more to do with the areas economy. But there is a modern Playground across the road.
      I remember taking many people there including Exchange students & they loved it. In fact for some of them it was the closest they ever got to a Kangaroo while in Australia & to be able to see Albino ones was even betta in their natural setting with Emu's etc. I think its a great community project for locals & tourists and Bute should pride its self on having such a great place with a population of approx 300. Bute is to small to make it a money making tourist attraction.

      Delete
    3. The gallery only had one local during our visit on duty and we really didn't talk much because we were looking around the gallery.

      I've visited many wildlife parks in my travels. Whilst I'm not saying Bute's park is bad, I just don't see how it became award winning? Was the award for wildlife parks or community projects?

      Delete

Post a Comment

Comments not directly related to the post will be deleted. This includes spammy generic comments with links to websites not related to the post.


Buy Gifts and Apparel featuring art by TET

Popular posts from this blog

Guest Post: MY SOOPER DOOPER NEW CONSERVATORY/ART STUDIO!

Today's guest post is by Artist, Writer, and Mental Health Advocate, Jo B Creative who writes for her blog, Creating My Oddessey.

You should see our (almost) brand new conservatory, half of which is my art studio. 'Lucky me!' I think to myself. Not every creative bod can boast that. It's HUGE! Like a giant greenhouse.

We first moved to our pleasant cul-de-sac house - great for raising kids - when our son, who's on the cusp of thirty-one, was four. One of the main reasons that we wanted it was that, apart from its location on the fringes of a historic market town in rural Hampshire, UK, it had a sizable conservatory looking onto the back garden. It was brown wood framed and had a corrugated transparent roof sloping down from downstairs ceiling height. On the face of it, it doesn't sound that glamourous, but we loved the idea of a conservatory. Luxury! I even liked the red brick walls which it was built against - the original exterior of the house - and the light …

Finding Time to Skate - Swap a Skateboard Session into Your Weekly Workout Routine

A common problem among skaters dealing with work/life commitments (typically older skaters with families, careers, or both) is finding the time to actually spend on a skateboard. In fact, life in general getting in the way of skateboarding, is what often leads so many to drop out of the sport, only to rediscover it later, once everything else starts to even out.

I'm certainly in that category. Never really giving skateboarding away altogether but only using a skateboard to get from A to B, when I didn't have a vehicle, for many years. In the last couple of years I've been trying to get back into the sport properly, i.e. building up my trick list and skating for fun and not just to get from A to B.

The problem is I have so many interests, projects, paid work, and more, that I would often leave skateboarding to the end of my day. Kind of as something to look forward to. Except I wouldn't be that motivated to really improve because my mind would be fried from everything …

Shopping Trolleys are not Wildlife - Stop Trying to Free Them!

This is a Public Service Announcement. Your determination to release shopping trolleys from their regimented, thankless, lives at the supermarket back into the wild is somewhat misguided.

The fact is shopping trolleys are not a domesticated, oppressed, wild species forced into captivity. Their ancestors were not once proud beasts roaming the Serengeti, carrying supplies for wildebeests during the great migration.

Shopping trolleys are single serving domesticated animals that have always been bred in captivity. They are not equipped with any innate survival skills and just don't cope once released into the wild.

Too often you'll find their mangled, broken remains being overgrown with plant life, many suffering the worse fate of drowning in a local river.

Some are fortunate enough to be rescued through outreach programmes and returned to active service.

The reality is, the community, and the trolleys themselves, are better served if you simply return your trolley to a trolley c…

Movie Review: Avengers: Infinity War (2018) *Spoiler Free*

Ten years in the making and Marvel finally releases part one of the Avengers versus Thanos, A.K.A. Avengers: Infinity War.

After seeing all 18 films in the MCU prior to this, and liking most of them, I was pretty confident this movie would not disappoint.

Other than a few minor issues - that are all my personal taste and in no way reflect on the quality of the film - it really delivers. Thanos is indeed the big, bad villain of the MCU that we've been antcipating.

Kids today are smarter than their parents?

How often have you heard it said that kids today are smarter than their parents? I’ve heard it quite frequently in the media – even Dr Phil has said it. I say speak for your self. It’s not true and don’t let the media fool you.

Today’s kids may have access to more information that may give them more choices but in my experience, they only take in what they want to hear and still make stupid, uninformed decisions. Just like we used to at their age.

Like any cross section of people there will be exceptions. There are kids that are genuinely smarter, more mature and responsible for their age. However the vast majority know everything they need to know by the time they turn fourteen. They’re ‘adult’ enough to be responsible for all their own decision making so parents should just let them do what they please…right? Just like we thought at fourteen.

Don’t be fooled. Just because your son knows how to download MP3’s onto an ipod, or your daughter can chat to five friends at the same time on he…

How to Make Your CafePress Online Store Mobile Friendly? Use My Custom Store, Shop Template

Using CafePress you can open your own online clothing and giftware store with no upfront costs.

Everything in your store is printed on demand and sent to your customers by CafePress. They charge a base price for each of the over 250+ items you can sell. You earn whatever markup you place on each item. All you have to do is keep your store stocked with fresh designs, and drive your target market to your store.

Once you're set up it's a side hustle you can tinker away at from any device. Create designs on your tablet while watching the TV, promote your shop when you're browsing social media on the bus. Notify your customers of new designs using the built in newsletter features while you sip a fresh brew at your local coffee shop. It's the business you can take anywhere and work on anytime!

Unfortunately it's not as convenient for your customers. Not a single one of CafePress' official shop templates (at the time of writing) are mobile friendly. They're passa…

Movie Review: Deadpool 2 (2018) *Spoiler Free*

Deadpool 2 is a fun black comedy on par with the first film. Right now I can't really say one is better than the other but I can say they're equally as good.

Before seeing Deadpool 2 I watched the first movie. My take is, if you do like the first one better, much of that is down to never having seen a Deadpool movie before, and then having that film just knock it right out of the park. (I feel the same about the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. The first one has the edge because I'd never seen that kind of movie before with those characters).