Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Artist as a Man

When it comes to art, we know what we like, in the Tavern. And we have good eyes for a good artist. Most nations exault their 'culture' and 'art' is an important expression of culture. But what of a nation that is new and has people from many nations?  Does it have a singular, identifiable culture?

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.

Bruno rebuilt.

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.



  1. I would love the chance to visit Bruno, he has created a wonderful place to show off his art.

    I am glad you enjoyed your birthday celebrations :-)

    1. You popped into my mind even before I went there. Your visits to gardens inspired my visit.:)

    2. I think we inspire each other ;-)

  2. Marysville has a special connection with my mother's side of the family. Interesting reading.

    1. I am glad you liked it and I hope the special connection is pleasantly memorable.

  3. It's wonder what just pops out of some of the most quiet people. Beautiful.

    OH...and MOST happiest of Birthdays amfortas!

    1. The entire garden was quite beautiful. I did not mention something really quite striking at the time. The quirky, touching, evocative sculptures were a visual delight, but being quite an ancient chap I took to sitting from time to time and just listening. I had heard Bruno's welcoming explanations of his painting, sculptures, initiatives, building and rebuilding and family history (he can be an engaging and enthusiastic speaker ! ) and then could listen to the silence of his garden. It was anything but.... There was the breeze in the leaves and the splashing of water from fountains and his small brook that runs at the far end of the property. And the birds. I closed my eyes and feasted my failing ears.

      I had a splendid birthday. Thank you. :)

    2. I don't consider myself ancient but when I visit gardens or similar places I often sit from time to time just listening and feeling. This habit is what led to the 'rest a while with me' theme that features on my blog.

      These places are peaceful and tranquil but as you mention, if someone takes the time to 'rest a while' they will find the space anything but quiet.


Ne meias in stragulo aut pueros circummittam.

Our Bouncer is a gentleman of muscle and guile. His patience has limits. He will check you at the door.

The Tavern gets rowdy visitors from time to time. Some are brain dead and some soul dead. They attack customers and the bar staff and piss on the carpets. Those people will not be allowed in anymore. So... Be Nice..