I love spending my Sundays exploring Melbourne and with no better person than my other half! Last weekend we went into Mt Dandenong up to William Ricketts Sanctuary which hosts an outdoor gallery of Aboriginal figure sculptures in the natural beauty and tranquility of the mountains, carved by the famous William Rickett.
I love going into Mt Dandenong, so are so many beautiful places along the way with such scenic views , that you can just be content with the drive. The tall mountain ash trees along the windy narrow and steep roads keep the mountains shaded from too much over baring light , the dense fern undergrowth really makes it a spectacular day out.
We went to the William Ricketts Sanctuary and admired the handy work of the late Mr Rickett who was skilled in clay modelling, who created an array of sculptures. The beautiful figures are placed around the sanctuary creating a place of tranquility and peace amidst the tall trees, waterfalls and the beauty of nature.
William was born in Richmond, Victoria in the the late 1890's. but then permanently settled in Mt Dandenong. It was after he moved that he developed his skills in crafting jewellery and clay modelling. Through the years he made frequent trips to Central Australia to live with the Aboriginal people who he was inspired by and brought their culture and tradition to his sculptures. He also took some of his work to India in the 1970's where he lived for a few years and developed spiritual empathy with the people. The sanctuary really represents and shows his love and passion. It is a testament to his philosophy.
William was a naturalist and was concerned about the mass destruction of the environment. His Philosophy was that everything that exists on earth is the making of one life, which everything fits into.
The sanctuary has steep steps around the gardens and showcases both of Williams homes, old and new. HIs new home was made for him by the government, whilst he was in India. He used the living space as his gallery and the kitchen was his living space, bedroom and kitchen! We also are shown some of his clothes and his favourite green barrett in the gallery. His favourite colour was obviously green due to his love of the nature and the environment.
All the sculptures in the sanctuary were made in a kiln fire clay, which was brought up to 1200 degrees centigrade and then placed into the forest scene.
The sanctuary is really beautiful and definitely worth the visit. Its got quiet steep steps up and around the garden so suitable footwear is a must especially if you go on a wet day like we did. The garden is quite small so half an hour is enough, so pop by if your around and admire the beautiful work of Mr William Rickett!
William Ricketts Sanctuary
1402 Mount Dandenong Tourist Rd, Mount Dandenong VIC 3767