Photography obsessed writer and urban explorer. Lover of nature, art and long weekends. Adelaide, South Australia.
Published September 7th 2018
Art in the Outback
The big landscapes and even bigger sunsets in the Flinders Ranges provide a picture-perfect backdrop to a large collection of bold and exciting sculptures. An empty block and an old and unused railway siding at Parachilna is the perfect spot for the rustic ironwork and wrought iron sculptures, made and installed by the Manning family.
The Mannings - Rod, Ty and Trent showcase some of their finest work in this wonderful free exhibition, which is directly in front of the iconic Prairie Hotel. The hero of the exhibition is surely the sculpture named the Parachilna Stockman. It's the quintessential outdoor sculpture - visually powerful with a believable and very strong connection to Australia, the outback and the people who live in it.
The Stockman sculpture is set on the railway siding and is in an elevated position which makes for stunning viewing with the setting sun or with the pre-dawn pastel sky. Other sculptures are dotted around the landscape - they are all different but are very similar in style. I recognised the sculptors' style from others that I have seen around Adelaide - most notably each year at the Brighton Jetty Classic Sculptures exhibition.
Rod, Ty and Trent make their sculptures at the family home in McLaren Vale. Their sculptures are in public and private art installations all over Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Ireland. Their works are for sale and they are available for private commission.
Parachilna is a country town in South Australia and is approximately 500kms from Adelaide. The town sits alongside a now unused railway line. The line once ran from Adelaide to Marree and connected with the Ghan line to Oodnadatta and Alice Springs. Today, all that remains in the town is the Prairie Hotel, railway station, the airstrip, a few homes and a group of Atco accommodation huts.
The road to Parachilna is sealed and suitable for all car types. There are always lots of kangaroos on the road, so be vigilant, especially in the early morning and late evenings.
The Prairie Hotel offers luxury self-contained accommodation, budget cabins with ensuite, campgrounds, meals, fuel, scenic flights over Lake Eyre and the Flinders, internet access and lots more. Check their website for current stay/fly/eat packages.