Skip to main content
Learn How to Start and Run a T-Shirt Business using RedBubble, Society6 and TeePublic - Click Here

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.

St!nk
* Affiliate Link - Support our advertisers and help keep this site free *

Popular posts from this blog

Movie Review: Long Story Short (2021) *Very minor spoilers*

Written and directed by Australian actor, Josh Lawson, Long Story Short is a fun rom-com about putting things off until the 'right' time and maybe how that isn't a good strategy for life. Rafe Spall plays Teddy, a guy who has a reputation for putting things off, and waiting too long to act on important decisions like setting a wedding date to his fiance, Leanne (Zahra Newman). It's not that he's lazy or unmotivated, it's just that he likes to wait for the perfect time to act. One day while visiting his father's grave he meets a strange woman (Noni Hazlehurst) who promises to give him a gift on his wedding day. Teddy doesn't think too much of it but then, on his wedding day, he jumps forward a year in time, where Leanne is celebrating their one year wedding anniversary. Teddy barely has time to comprehend his predicament before he flashes forward to their two year anniversary. Long Story Short inevitably will be compared to the Bill Murray movie, Ground

Movie Review: Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021) *Spoiler Free*

I must admit I definitely didn’t dislike the original, theatrical cut of Joss Wheden’s 2017 Justice League. In fact I gave it a mostly positive review and I bought the DVD. However after seeing Zack Snyder’s Justice League , a four hour epic, I definitely prefer the latter. Comparing the two versions, the overall story is mostly the same. Based on Lex Luthor’s warning at the end of Batman Versus Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman must assemble a team of superheroes to combat an imminent attack on the planet by an alien army. Where the versions differ is in the character development and backstory of each hero as they are brought into the team. As well you get a much more fleshed out backstory and motivation for the movie’s villains. Most of this character development is either scaled back or completely changed in the original 2017 release, with the major, major villain erased from that film entirely. I also got the sense that once the team comes together the mood between the characters

Lower Your Expectations, COVID-19 Vaccines Aren't a 'Cure-All'

I'm going to preface this post with the obvious, I'm not a medical expert. I have no experience with creating vaccines nor how they work. Everything that follows is based upon my own opinions and thoughts. Definitely do your own research on whether you want to get vaccinated for COVID-19 or not. The following cut'n'paste message has been circulating on Facebook. At least that's where I first came across it. It's not attributed to anyone so it's not possible to draw any conclusions about the original poster's motivations or intent: --- Post begins --- Let’s awaken some people’s minds... What happens if you decide to get "vaccinated" (beside the fact that you could end up very sick or even dead)??? Here are 12 important questions and answers before considering getting vaccinated: "If I get vaccinated can I stop wearing a mask(s)?" Government: "NO" "If I get vaccinated will the restaurants, bars, schools, fitness clubs, h

Crowne Plaza Hotel and Botanical Gardens, Adelaide, South Australia.

Crowne Plaza Hotel, Adelaide, South Australia My partner, Enigma, and I finally managed our two day getaway in Adelaide staying at the Crowne Plaza Hotel , ideally located not far from the central shopping district, arts precinct, and cafe strip. I say 'finally' because we initially booked this getaway in November of 2020 and watched it disappear on the morning we were meant to leave as SA went into a hard lockdown due to a COVID19 outbreak. Frustratingly the lockdown turned out to be unnecessary thanks to a not entirely accurate reporting on the movements of one positive case. However the damage to our trip was done. Lock down was lifted two days later but we had to reschedule our stay for January. Thankfully the Crowne Plaza was able to honor the same discount prices we had initially booked for, bringing the stay within our budget for two nights. Service at the hotel has been good. This is the first hotel we've stayed at with a street level concierge, who explains where t

TV Series Review: WandaVision (2021) *Spoiler Free*

Marvel Studios continues the Marvel Cinematic Universe on the small screen with the nine part series, WandaVision , now streaming on Disney+. Initially released weekly during January and February 2021, the entire series is now available to stream with a Disney+ subscription. Set a few weeks after Avengers: Endgame , superheroes, Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olson) and Vision (Paul Bettany) appear to be living an idealistic life in a black and white 1950’s sitcom. However everything isn’t as it seems in this new reality. WandaVision is an unusual story about love, loss, grief, and healing told through the lens of witches and superheroes. It’s a fairly original concept with plenty of humor, interesting character development, and quite a few surprises. I don’t usually review television series, despite watching quite a lot of them through various streaming services, however WandaVision is definitely worth an exception. For me, the series was the closest yet to watching a live action version o

Podcasts for Comic Book Movie Nerds and Enterprising Side Hustlers

If you haven’t discovered Podcasts yet you’re missing out on an entire world of ready to listen to content covering a whole library of interests that you can download into your favorite mobile podcast app and listen to at your convenience. If you have I thought I’d spend take the opportunity to recommend some of the podcasts I’m listening to. My podcast app of choice is Beyond Pod for Android but any podcast app will probably do. Once you have your app installed search for these shows from within the app. Comic Book Movie Podcasts If you haven’t noticed I’m a total comic book movie nerd but I don’t really know anyone who likes these movies as much as I do. Consequently I seek out podcasts where I can hear all kinds of discussions surrounding these movies, from the moment they are first announced, to a scene by scene, spoiler breakdown of the final movie release (after I’ve seen the film of course). Fatman Beyond - Director, Kevin Smith, and screen writer Marc Bernardin, deliver a usu

Five Websites to Print Your Own Custom Designs/Photos Onto T-Shirts and Other Gifts

Have you ever wanted to print your child’s art onto their very own skateboard, or create a calendar of all your holiday snaps (or maybe even a photo book)? That’s where Print On Demand websites come in. They specialise in printing custom images onto their products, with orders being as small as just one item. While many of these sites are designed for artists and photographers to open online shops to sell their designs that doesn’t mean you can’t use these sites too. There’s no reason you can’t open your own free shop for the sole purpose of buying your own printed designs - some sites will let you design custom products without needing to open a shop at all. Below I’ve created a list of five Print On Demand sites I’ve used and recommend, along with a sixth bonus option that you may not have even thought of but is probably the most convenient of all. Red Bubble - Has grown into quite possibly one of the biggest Print On Demand sites online. Registering a free account will give you acc

Buy Gifts and Apparel featuring art by TET