A few days ago, thejuicenut from pearsnotparsnipsdotcom commented that she often thought of Melbourne’s street sculpture after having seen a documentary. I was still pondering her comment when Woody received a text to meet a friend at ‘McClelland Gallery’ nearby. Minutes later we were passing a new sculpture to champion boxer Johnny ‘Fammo’ Famechon and discussing it as we sat at the traffic lights beside a nine metre high silver gnome. It was not until we parked our car at the Gallery that the penny dropped. Sometimes you really take for granted what is around you. The next day with a clear blue sky I set off once more for ‘The Gallery’ to capture some of these stunning works that I had almost ignored.
Set in natural bushland in Langwarrin south East of Melbourne, the McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery was established in 1971 as per the request of Annie May McClelland in her will as a tribute to her brother Harry McClelland on whose land it is set.
An energetic patron of the McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery was the Late Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, mother of media magnate Rupert Murdoch.
When the nearby Peninsula Link Freeway was built 14 sculptures were commissioned for the freeway, each to be displayed for four years before being moved to the McClelland Sculpture Park.
When time was up for the work ‘The Tree of Life’ residents were saddened to hear that it would move to the Sculpture Park as its relaxing and seemingly impossible movement had soothed us all on our daily commutes. Before long the giant silver Gnome (Reflective Lullaby by Greg Kregar) was in its place and residents were scaling the fence to put their own favourite gnomes around the statue’s base to keep him company.
A perfect place for a picnic or a lunch in the café. There are lawns and ducks on the lake. Most of the works encourage wonder and almost all invite children to explore them. Sandy paths meander through the native heathland of the park and every turn reveals a pleasant surprise.