Art Trail in the Upper Hunter Valley
NSW Australia 2015
In 2015 Ben was able to add a substantial new dynamic aspect to his collection of public art works with the help of Muswellbrook shire council the Upper Hunter Art Trail was established as a regional art trail. Ben says ' I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to help link some fantastic parts of the Upper Hunter with my works in these 3 amazing venues, each one offering something different for visitors to enjoy. I hope you will take this journey if you are ever in this region and am sure you will gain a fabulous day out'
1 Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre, ANZAC Centenary memorial stone.
This commemorative sculpture work was created in collaboration with the Muswellbrook Shire Council. In 2015 I was asked to be Artist in residence for the highly successful Muswellbrook Art Gallery and came up with the idea to create the ANZAC Centenary Stone. Bringing together todays generations as a way to honour all service men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice.
This sculpture now forms the starting point of the Art Trail with the information board giving directions for a great day out in the Upper Hunter Valley.
See the Featured Project page for more detail on this sculpture project and images.
2 'Custodians Of The Landscape' Two Rivers, Denman
From Muswellbrook you can make your way over to Denman, about half an hours drive brings you to the next stop and a great place for a lunch time break. Relax and take in the spectacular vineyard scenery and explore the 10 sculpted stone works by Ben.
This sensational rock collection at Two Rivers Wines, was carved in 2015 and unveiled by iconic film star Sigrid Thornton. More than 28 tonnes of stone sourced from the vineyard were used to create this project.
Mother Stone, (the main feature work)
The vortex of spirals leads our eye into the aperture, itself shaped like an eye. Through this space we see the distant hill named after William Ogilvie, the founder of Denman in 1853. The significance is one of looking – specifically, looking onto and across the vineyards and the landscape beyond. We can see how this special part of the valley has been looked after by the family of vintners here and further afield to the farms beyond. This 4.8-tonne stone also features a map reference of the two rivers, the Hunter and the Goulburn, along with a depiction of a Blue Tongue who is carved into the east face.
3 David Mahony's Sculpture Gardens and Art Cafe, Sandy Hollow
Following on from a lunch stop you can now take a short drive over to Sandy Hollow where the now famous sculpture gardens of David Mahony are well placed to be able to enjoy an afternoon coffee and cake. Here you will find Ben's work from 2008, The Giant's Footprint. A large carving of the profile of the Giant who legend tells us used to leap from the hill tops around here during the great flood time.
There are now many other works here to explore and you will often find artists carving in the mid day sun finishing off the latest edition.