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

Mengler Hill: Barossa Sculpture Park Revisited

April 14th, 2009

After the some-what disappointing Step Back in Time, Rose and I decided to head up the road (and up the hill) to the Mengler Hill Lookout, home of the Barossa Sculpture Symposium. I wrote about these sculptures when Rose visited me back in 2007 and at the time was unimpressed with what I saw.

However, sometime during the year 2008 a new Symposium was held with a few more international sculptors being invited to contribute new works to the existing park. Hence, since we were so close, we thought we would have a look.

As near as we could tell about eight (possibly nine) new sculptures have been added to the park. Unusually we couldn't find any information about who made them or what each new sculpture was called (other than some pretty rough signature inscriptions into the sculptures themselves - one even had the artist's web address carved into the base).

All but one of the new sculptures were fairly simplistic abstract shapes much like the existing sculptures. The odd one out was only different because it had a simplistic female figure carved into the rock (see photo, right - Rose is the figure not made out of rock!).

In my opinion the new sculptures simply give visitors more to look at and do very little to enhance the park's experience overall. If abstract shapes and symbolism are your thing when it comes to art then put this on your MUST SEE list. Personally I'm not into it.

I know carving anything out of rock is a difficult ask but I can't help thinking many of the original masters (such as Michelangelo) did sculpture so much better with far more primitive tools than what is available to artists today. It's not like I want to see classical sculpture with realistic figures depicting bible stories, myths and legends but please, give me something with depth and detail that makes me marvel at the skill required to achieve such artistic excellence.

If you can't do that at least arrange the sculptures closer together so their combined presence makes some kind of statement as a whole. In this park the sculptures are just too far apart and don't really have any visual cohesiveness to each other beyond being sculptures carved from the same type of rock.

All of the sculptures in this park I feel I could create with a six week crash course in rock carving. It's a terrible generalisation akin to saying my kid could make that. Like the kid I probably couldn't make these sculptures, or if I could, would I think to make them? Probably not.

Perhaps the Barossa Council would like a giant stone carving of one of my cats?

Comments

  1. I don't usually comment first on my own posts but I wanted to add that while we were wandering around the sculpture park a large tour bus pulled into the look out. A few people got off to take a photo of the view but not one person came down to look around the park.

    Perhaps they were on a time limit but what does that say about the sculpture park if tour operators don't give their guests time to look around?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank You!
    I totally get what you are saying. These giant paper weights are very rarely appealing. There is some good contemporary stone sculpture out there but it's not that easy to come by.

    I am a stone sculptor and I work for a sculptor. Daniel SInclair, he is a real modern day Michelangelo or at least the closest to it. You can see his work at dmsstudios.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for the comment wdandins. I did look at Daniel's web site and his work is truly beautiful and stunning. Great to see that classical stone sculpture work is still being practiced today.

    Whilst I wouldn't necessarily want to see classical sculpture on Menglar hill I'm sure there must be more contemporary stone sculpture that has that same breath taking 'wow' factor that I get from seeing classical work such as Daniels.

    Mengler hill has so much history surrounding it. It deserves something better than abstract symbolism and shapes that the local community doesn't seem to be able to embrace.

    Broken Hill has a similar set of abstract stone sculptures but done so much better. The arts community there not only embraces their park they paint pictures featuring it - over and over.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I like your post and it is so good and I am definetly going to save it. One thing to say the In depth analysis this blog has is trully remarkable.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The two main name plaques detailing the sculptors names and their matching artworks are set into the ground nearest the ramp access point. I believe the reason that Menglers Hill Barossa Sculpture Park does not have more appealing sculptures is that the area is not manned by security and that greater works or art are likely to be stolen or vandalised. And yes they were created in limited time frames. Lots of constant challenges for the parks' caretakers. Some-one has already tried to burn the large terracotta plaque and some-one has attempted to obliterate the wheat-sheaf on the adjacent carved stone panel. The road surface of the lookout is thick with tire marks from burnouts. Beer bottles have been shattered after being thrown from the lookout towards the sculptures. I'm with you, I don't find it appealing, but then stone is not my thing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't really buy that the quality of art has been affected by the potential for it to be stolen or vandalized. I doubt that even crossed anyone's mind. I also think the artists themselves would be offended by the idea that their work was considered of a lower quality for that reason.

      What really lets this park down is the disconnected nature of the art. Even if the sculptures are based around similar themes (which I think they are) they're placed so far apart that you can't really appreciate them in any other way than on their individual merits.

      Delete
  6. I love the way you write and share your niche! Very interesting and different! Keep it coming! Large Metal Sculptures For Sale

    ReplyDelete

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 …

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.

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 …

Creating a Mobile Independent Artist Business - Part 10: Opportunities to make money (Part A)

In my last post I looked at What to Create and Finding Your Market. This post is something of a natural follow on from finding your market as many of these money making opportunities include their own market places that you can research to see what kinds of themes and subjects sell best.

It's worth doing this research to find out if the art you're already creating is a good fit for that market place - which is ideal - or if you may have to consider expanding your interests to cover popular themes in order sell in a particular market.

Book Review: How to get a Billion Views on YouTube - The Braille Skateboarding Story

In How to Get a Billion Views on YouTube professional skateboarder, Aaron Kyro, gives you the Braille Skateboarding story in the form of a practical guide to growing a YouTube channel into a full time career.

An easy and quick read that never gets lost in too much detail. As a result, even if you're not growing a skateboarding channel, the content is still very relevant and not difficult to see how it transfers to whatever kind of channel you are trying to build.

I’m here to tell you ANY passion no matter what it is can make money.- Aaron Kyro
The book is more a step by step guide to starting, growing, and running a YouTube channel as a business. However where it differs from other books on the subject is that almost every piece of advice is related back to what Aaron and the Braille Skateboarding team did on their journey with actual examples of process and content.

The last third of the book is a much appreciated overview of YouTube's analytics simplified so you can clearly…

Skateboard Trick Tips: Two Ways to Ollie North (Ollie One foot)

Ollie One Foots, otherwise known as the Ollie North, is one of those skateboard tricks you learn and then tend not to do very much as more interesting trick challenges grab your attention. However it does look really cool if you learn how to kick your front foot well past the nose of your skateboard.

I was inspired to make my video below, showing two different techniques to achieve a successful Ollie One Foot, when I not only saw that Braille Skateboarding's Tutorial used a different method to the one I had learned but also, when I looked at various other video tutorials, I discovered yet another technique, with no one using the method I had originally learned.

Braille's method is to simply Ollie and drag your front foot past the front of your board.

The second method I came across in several video tutorials is to Ollie, drag your front foot and tap your front toe downward, mid drag, causing the front of the board to drop away from your foot. I demonstrate this method in my v…

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).