In the Seventies, when I started teaching I was full of energy and idealism. My first college was in Williamstown, a girls’ college specializing in churning out secretaries and good housewives. I decided to take my year ten class to the other side of Melbourne, the Dandenongs, where I now live, to visit the William Rickets sanctuary. It involved a train and bus trip and we were on a tight schedule, but I wanted the girls to experience something special- the forest sanctuary and sculptures which seemed to emerge from the rocks and trees as if an organic part of nature. We even met Mr Ricketts,the sculptor, who was living and working there at the time.
I remember clearly that when he came to talk to us, wearing a green beret, mosquitoes were covering his face and hands but he made no movement to shoo them away or kill them, while my students were doing the jig in order to dissuade the insects from biting them.
I have been back to visit this place in the ensuing years and unfortunately vandals have snapped off a head here, fingers there…
Another thing I remember about Mr Ricketts is his loathing of people’s tendency to keep animals and birds in cages and his disgust at the way the “white fellas” have degraded this continent since our short presence here.
I include some information about this inspiring man and his sanctuary:
“ Situated in the Dandenongs in a ferny glade, William Ricketts Sanctuary is a place of beauty and tranquility, due both to the natural setting and the mystical sculptures half hidden among ferns along the pathways. It is a place for quiet reflection and for contemplation of the essence of the vision of William Ricketts. Many travel across the world to visit this place time and time again.
Kiln-fired clay sculptures of Aboriginal figures are discreetly set among rocks, fern trees and Mountain Ash. These sculptures are an expression of Rickett's philosophy - that all people need to act as custodians of the natural environment in the same way as Aborigines, the inspiration for much of his work.
In the 1930s, William Rickets bought a four-acre bush block on Mount Dandenong and called it Potter's Sanctuary. Word spread about the extraordinary sculptures that began to adorn the property. In time, the Victorian Government heard about his work and, in the early 1960s, the land and adjoining blocks were bought for the people. William Ricketts lived on at the Sanctuary into his nineties and continued to create his sculptures until his death in 1993. 92 ceramic sculptures of people and animals are scattered throughout the lush rainforest grounds.
His sculptures have been inspired by the years that he spent living and learning about the Indigenous Cultures of the Desert People of the Pitjantjara and Arrernte.
It is very obvious when you walk around just how connected William Ricketts was with these people.
The faces are most amazing and lifelike and his talent was natural and self-taught.”
The sculpture shows the sculptor as a young man being guided by an Aboriginal elder or possibly the spirit of the Indigenous People. Please notice how the clay figures have been made to look as if they emerge from the rock itself.
THIS IS SCANNED IMAGE FROM A B&W FILM.
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rodgerg (55767) 2010-08-14 7:25
Un excellent B&W avec des contrastes doux mais tyrès bien marqués qui font que la sculpture ressort très bien dans son environnement végétal. Un tracvail efficace et original.
wolf38 (29126) 2010-08-14 12:20
Hello Klaudio. Truly a subtle Photo. It has depth and meaning. In the black and white version it looks very strong. Excellent. Regards, Wolfgang.
AKITA (15125) 2010-08-14 14:25
a beautiful B&W image of the excellent sculpture,
it shows me where the human artist lives actually and ideally,
this circumstance and your POV are very nice to express dramatic ambience there well,
thank you for your wonderful shot,
hay_kes (30424) 2010-08-16 0:45
Very beautiful B&W image with nice statue.Good POV and details.TFS.
mikolaj_kawa (0) 2010-08-16 0:50
Hello Klaudio! Very interesting monument, original sculpture. Very good note. Superb BW art work. Perfect contrast and sharpness. Very good focus effect. Ideal frame. Well done!
holmertz (31516) 2010-08-16 8:14
Today I have learned something new from TE. I had no idea of the existence of the Ricket sanctuary, now I have also searched it on the internet. I can not safely judge the artistic qualities of this statue from just this photo, but no doubt he had a fascinating vision which you have captured well in excellent b&w. This is actually one of those blessed instances when the note rather outshines the photo.
Thanks for sharing.
jhm (128259) 2010-08-17 5:03
Perhaps a tip for your next picture, place as second picture your color version, than can every one make a choice.
Perhaps Have I to long have to work with B & W.
Lovely sharpness picture.
Very well done, TFS.
Fante (5429) 2010-08-18 11:20
fenomenalna fotografija, ki deluje zelo misteriozno in pravljično. Popolna kompozicija in enkratna izbira za B&W. Izredna ostrina in lepi kontrasti. Čestitam
kordinator (14797) 2010-08-24 1:41
Vrlo zanimljiv spomenik, originalna skulptura.
Savršen kontrast i oštrina.
Vrlo dobar fokus.
Odličan propratni tekst kao i selokupan rad