And what of a 'culture' that has artists 'employed' by the State? One where the artists are mainly of the "we don't want to starve in a garret" type and who constantly badger the taxpayer to give him grants and awards, subsidies and prizes for stuff for which no-one wants to pay hard-earned money ?
Oz is awash with such spongers who suck from the public teat.
So it is almost like bathing in a forest spring when a chap meets a real artist who is entirely self-sufficient and demands nothing from a Government Department; one who does not suck-up to his local MP or 'arts' body seeking a hand out.
On my recent journey overseas to the Big Island, on the occasion of my birthday, I visited Bruno Torfs' garden in Marysville.
|Bruno: An Artist: A Man.|
Bruno was born and raised in South America; he moved as a teen, with his family, to Belgium where he was a sort of 'hippy'. In the Tavern we do not hold hippy-types in high regard. But this man is an exception. He travelled a lot and had work as a signwriter. This did not facilitate his artistic expression though, which he inherited from his artist father and was demanding its place in the world.
Later, with his wife and two daughters he moved to Oz where he found a lovely spot in deep Victorian country and set about his work. A couple of acres and a modest home in a small village. And his talent. And his self-reliance.
|In the deep forests of Victoria, nestles the small Village of Marysville. Pop 299.|
And Bruno's Garden.
Bruno developed a garden where his sculptures could be placed. It was a success. He continued as he always had, working at a furious pace, supporting his family from his artistic endeavours; seeking no hand-outs. His reputation grew like the local manferns and could not be contained in the forests of Victoria:
but nature has a way of testing a man's metal
in the furnace.
A bushfire virtually destroyed Marysville in 2009, along with several other small villages and Bruno's endeavours. Many people died. Bruno and his family were spared their lives. It was a huge tragedy and the loss of life of others overshadowed the loss of an artist's livelihood.
|Bruno talking with The Taverner's Lad. "Come in. Welcome"|
It would have broken a lesser man.
He had friends.
It is a delight to see the result. He is a delightful man. One that every artist could emulate.
I wish they would.
|Now, if you look carefully, you can see the Tavern Keeper taking the snap.|
It is a sculpture set in a mirror.
A 'google' image search (Bruno's Art and Sculpture Garden) will show you a much more comprehensive selection of photographs.
My heart was uplifted. My long journey and busy time had its rewards and this was 'icing on the Birthday cake'.
I hope you may get to visit Bruno too.