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Published February 23rd 2015
Great works overseeing a great view of the Valley
It was 1988, Australia's Bicentennial year, when the Barossa Valley hosted the first Barossa International Sculpture Symposium where nine sculptors met over six weeks and carved out some super-sized sculptures from local marble and granite.
The sculptures were to reflect the environment and express the ambience and spirit of the Barossa Valley. To further the understanding between the artists and the community, the sculptors were hosted by Barossa residents living with them in private houses during their stay. The varied expression of the abstract pieces are evidence of the sculptors' perception as well as their cultural background.
1988 : King & Queen by Stefan Bruggisser - Steve Hudson
The celebrate the Park's 20th anniversary the second Barossa International Sculpture Symposium was held in 2008. Eight new sculptors carved sculptures in black and brown granite. Their work practice was very different to those 20 years earlier but still the sculptures complement each other well.
It is now another seven years on, and having travelled past numerous times, I thought it was appropriate that I should actually stop and see what these sculptures were all about. Located at the lookout on Menglers Hill Road, a large car park provides room for plenty of visitors including tourist coaches. A few steps down from the car park and I am in to the Sculpture Park itself.
1988 : Awakening by Michael Cartwright - Steve Hudson
The nine original pieces from 1988 are predominantly sculptured from marble, and being 27 years old they are starting to show some signs of weathering. Notwithstanding that, the brilliant contrasting mix of smooth and carved finishes provides a reflection on life in the Barossa.
2008 : Are You Sirius ? by Hiroshi Miaychi - Steve Hudson
By contrast the eight newer pieces are sculptured primariliy from granite, and facilitate a great contrast with the white marble. Again the mixture of rough and smooth are featured, as well as references to the modern characters and livings that make today's Barossa.
2008 : A Memory of the Keyhole By Omar Toussoun - Steve Hudson
All 17 pieces sit in a small park just below the Mengler's Hill Lookout, and provide exceptional views of the majority of the Barossa Valley, and many opportunities for photography at different times of the day.
2008 : GAIA -(GAEA) by Viktor Kalinowski - Steve Hudson
The Park is maintained by the Barossa Sculpture Park Committee. For further details on the Committee, the previous Symposiums, and general details regarding the Sculptures or the Artists, please refer to their website.
The Barossa Sculpture Park is a short driving distance from Tanunda by following the Basedow road to the Menglers Hill Look Out, which offers breathtaking views of the Barossa Valley. Access is available at all hours and is free.