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Phoenix Sculpture Garden, Mount Glorious

Home > Brisbane > Art | Galleries | Gardens | Outdoor | Spirituality
by Jennifer Muirhead (subscribe)
I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma. ~ Eartha Kitt
Published February 19th 2019
Peace on earth starts with peace within
Located at Mt Glorious, a short drive from Brisbane, the Phoenix Sculpture Garden is an oasis of calm and beauty, where visitors can be surrounded by both art and nature.

Parking spaces are limited, so if you are fit and healthy you are invited to walk up to the garden from the entrance. It's a nice short walk through the trees.

driveway, Phoenix Sculpture Garden, Mt Glorious, bushland, Australia
The driveway leading to the gardens.

The garden was created by Graham and Margit Radcliffe, who bought the property 30 years ago when it was virgin bush. It is obviously a labour of love, and this friendly couple should be proud of the calming space they have created, full of natural beauty and inspiring art. Graham is a self-taught sculptor and painter, who lived for six years in Italy, where he sourced much of the stone used in his work. The garden features over 100 sculptures in marble, onyx and bronze, displayed indoors and outdoors.

To the right of the driveway is the gallery, where you can see some of Graham's sculptures and a few paintings. All the works are for sale, though with some you can only buy copies of the original. The prices start at $500 for a small bronze figure. You can also purchase photographs of some of the work and clay "verse vessels" containing some of Margit's writing.

If you wander up the garden path you will see a sculpture called Winged Messenger of Love. This piece sets the tone for the garden, which is dedicated to peace.

The garden is full of beautiful native plants and sculptures, interspersed with Margit's writing.

Phoenix Germania, sculpture, stone sculpture, sculpture Australia, German reunification
Phoenix Germania.

The Phoenix Germania is an imposing figure amidst the plants. It is the largest sculpture Graham has ever attempted, carved from a 24-tonne block of Travertine, imported from Rome. It took 9 months to carve. It was made to commemorate the reunification of Germany in 1989. The inscription reads: "Phoenix Germania, born again in peace and unity".

green cathedral, Phoenix Sculpture Garden, Mt Glorious
The Green Cathedral, a quiet place to sit and think.

Phoenix Sculpture Garden, Mt Glorious, pond
The pond, which the small ones tell me is full of tadpoles.

The sculpture garden is child-friendly but as with everything, it depends on the individual child. It would be a shame to disturb the tranquillity for others, so if a child wants to run around a lot and be very noisy you might be better off heading to a playground first to let them get it out of their system. It's also only suitable for children who are able to do a fair bit of walking on their own unless you are planning to wear them in a sling, because you couldn't get a pram around most of the garden paths. People in wheelchairs would probably also only be able to access parts of the garden.

Phoenix Sculpture garden, stone sculpture, Mt Glorious
The beautiful view from the Wedding Garden.

The Wedding Garden can be hired for private events, such as workshops, naming ceremonies, and small weddings (Margit is a wedding celebrant). On site, catering can be provided from the nearby Cloverlea Cottage cafe.

There is a lot to see, so it's a good idea to allow at least an hour to give yourself time to appreciate the art, and perhaps sit for a while in the Green Cathedral to centre yourself, and enjoy a cup of tea in the Wedding Garden. Since Margit and Graham fund the garden themselves, donations are appreciated. It is open to the public from 10am to 4pm on Sundays, or other days by appointment, and is well worth a day trip.
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*Jennifer Muirhead was invited as a guest
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Why? To experience a sense of peace and calm and see beautiful sculptures
When: Sundays 10am - 4pm
Where: 59 Fahey Road, Mount Glorious.
Cost: Free (Donations welcome)
Your Comment
I imagine that walking these tracks would be like walking in a relaxation, to quote a six-year-old grandson of mine. What a beautiful place, and so close to the hub bub of the city.
by Alison Muirhead (score: 2|268) 463 days ago
Hi Jennifer, very interesting and thanks for sharing. Marina
by Marina Marangos (score: 2|801) 460 days ago
by Sandy Ludinski on 10/06/2014
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