Broken Hill, this heritage listed city nestling at the base of the Barrier Ranges and surrounded by desert, is renowned for the quality of its light. Artists have, for years, been drawn to settle here. The light is crystal clear and colours sparkle. It has a spiritual aura. This is what drew sculptures from around the world in 1993 to be part of a sculpture symposium.
This is a definite must see, so late one afternoon we drove the 10 kilometres to the “Living Desert Reserve”We had to bypass the flora and fauna sanctuary as the trail up Sundown Hill to the site of the sculptures would take approximately an hour and the plan was to see the sculptures in that magical light of the golden hour.
The trail was not an easy walk, the track was covered with rocks and boulders and had to scramble along in some places but oh the scenery was stunning. Bathed in that special late afternoon glow. Suddenly an inquisitive head popped out from behind a rock.Look at the size of those ears. As we approached the top looking back I could see Broken Hill in the distance.Then rounding a corner the sculptures dominated the area with their presence. The first one was engraved with the names and nationalities of the 12 sculptorsThe story of the creation of the symposium is the stuff of legends. How one mans dream became a reality. This was told on the information board and it tells it so much better than I could, so I will let it explain how it started.
After walking up the track to the top of Sundown Hill and seeing the magnificent views spread below, bathed in that special light, I could visualise how Lawence Beck would have a special connection to this site after seeking the spiritual guidance of the great wedge-tailed eagle. So began the start of his journey to create these awe-inspiring works of art. I read this information board and it sent shivers down my spine as I visualised these 12 men working day and night to transform the huge blocks of sandstone and breathe life into them to create imposing works of art.This is the imposing sculpture that Lawrence Beck created back in 1993. These sculptures have been here 25 years now and are an icon that will go down in history as the creation of this one mans dream. I did not get the information about this balancing monolith. But I see a whale surfacing from the surrounding desert and love how it is swimming toward the setting sun.
Each sculpture had an information board telling the story of the artist, where they came from and their feelings that inspired the beauty of their work.
A group of students and teachers were the only others at the site and they seemed to be in awe of the sculptures, many of them touching them, but also taking lots of selfies as they did their project to sketch the sculptures and then write about their feelings of them. Being a horse lover this was one of my favourites. My heart was touched by the fact that it is a tribute to the horses of his homeland that had all been slaughtered at Stalin’s request.
We spent over an hour absorbing the beauty of these sculptures. But the sun is going down, a chill wind is creeping over the site and we have that rugged rocky trail to walk back down. So I will show just one more, another favourite, then leave the rest for another post.
I will leave you with the mystical sound of Jarge Reyes as he plays “Bajo El Sol Jaguar”