Category Archives: McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park

The year that changed my life: 1999

Buffalos Nickel by Michelle W.                                                                                                   Dig through your couch cushions, your purse, or the floor of your car and look at the year printed on the first coin you find. What were you doing that year?

1999 was the year many were frightened that computers wouldn’t be able to cope with the change to the year 2000.

The year began for me with sick leave. Shingles appeared on my face and head with an added ear infection, the day school was to start. Serendipitous, considering it could have come upon me in the holidays. Gardening appeased my headaches. Returning with fresh energy to school to bring some order to the art department I was dismayed to find I had Bell’s palsy. Half my face was paralysed, and I thought I’d had a stroke. The doctor recommended working through this as the more exercise the muscles had, the better my recuperation would be.

Speaking with a half paralysed tongue was not fun, but being in a special school, the children were all very understanding. Ignoring disability was part of the culture, where people appreciated one another for who they were, not for how they might look.

1999, my two older children were living away, one in Melbourne, the other overseas. Simon, the youngest, was nineteen, and had aspirations to join his sister in Melbourne. It was also the year that Christopher and I started corresponding. Chris had sent me an invitation to his exhibition opening in Melbourne, which I had to decline with a card for his birthday. There began a most amusing correspondence. Chris has a very vivid sense of fun, so I would rush to work early to open his e-mails. Computers had only just been provided at the school. Up until then reports were hand written. We also faxed each other at home, as this was cheaper than ringing.

Jokes were sent back and forth, and both workplaces, his and mine, were entertained with the daily installments. Chris was working at McClelland Gallery, doing the books, and living in the caretaker’s cottage. We both went to Tasmania for his mother’s eightieth birthday, and my mother cooked a special dinner for the occasion. Our lives had intertwined over the years, but my mother commented on Chris staying behind to help with the washing up, noticing his attentions.

Later in the year, Chris invited me to the opening of the extension to the gallery. I gladly accepted. He picked me up from the airport, visiting a Church of England nunnery on the way home, where he showed me a magnificent tapestry that he’d designed. The nuns were very proud to show off their tapestry and provided afternoon tea. Chris had cooked Coq au vin for dinner with potatoes in their jackets. This weekend changed our lives with Chris’s proposal that night.

Saturday we were busy digging and placing nameplates beside each sculpture in the grounds before the big event. Exciting times lay ahead. Everything fell into place as if it was all predestined.

Chris brought his two spaniels to stay for Christmas. We had Becky’s dog, Jimmy, staying with us while she was overseas, as well as our ancient cat, which died soon after. Apart from Jimmy jumping on Chris’s head in the middle of the night when there were fireworks and scaring the life out of him, the animals were as contented as the humans.

We were married the following year when my long service was due, to live happily ever after, with the true fairy tale ending.






Revisiting McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park:

Revisiting McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park, I took so many photos that my computer is overwhelmed, and only down loaded one photo. So folks, this is it for today. I need to get the computer man to work out what has happened.

This park didn’t let me down, the boys were delighted to return, running around, knowing where their favourite sculptures are, as well as discovering the new ones in the most recent survey. The bush landscape was looking refreshed after rain.

McClelland Sculpture Survey and Award 2014


David Horton In pace (in peace) After Verrocchio’s Doubting Thomas. For Dad 2014


The McClelland Sculpture Survey opened today with perfect weather. There were crowds attending. We appreciated seeing the sculptures in the bush setting as well as seeing the plantings we did some years ago now. I shall post just a few of the 33 sculptures in the prize.


Matthew Harding Void 2014 won the $100,000 McClelland Sculpture Survey Award 2014

Sonia Payes Re:Generation 2014

Sonia Payes
Re:Generation 2014

Phil Price Chrysalid 2014

Phil Price
Chrysalid 2014



Some more Sculptures:

The back lake where we did everything to eradicate these weeds, emptying the lake, digging and burning. Obviously to no avail!

The back lake where we did everything to eradicate the weeds, emptying the lake, digging and burning. Obviously to no avail! The shiny silver is an Adrian Page sculpture in the background.


Boys walking over the bridge that Chris proudly built over a boggy area.

Boys walking over the bridge that Chris proudly built over a boggy area.



I apologise not to have included sculptors’ names, but can add them if any one is interested. These few sculptures may give you a better feel for the McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park, Langwarrin, Victoria, Australia. I shall include more photographs as time goes by.



Winter holidays


Andrew Roger’s Maze



This sculpture’s sensor sets off cello and other sounds as people pass


IMG_2671IMG_2662IMG_2661IMG_2667IMG_2650IMG_2672IMG_2673Having time off from blogging has inspired me to catch up on lots of jobs that had been put aside, things to do later. The satisfaction is enormous. I have found a new Danish computer man, Thomas, who helped me solve a couple of things that will allow me to do some tidying up on the computer and also to understand some of the simple things that seem obvious to everyone else.

The TV aerial needed adjustment since we’ve gone from analogue to digital. Every storm or rainy night left us with a black screen. It is quite a treat to see a session without having to fill in the blanks.

The garden too has benefitted from the installation of a watering system, ready for next summer.

Having the children introduced us to predawn starts to the day again. I have included some photos of our visit to McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park, where we used to live in the caretaker’s cottage. The boys enjoy running around finding their favourite sculptures. I love to see the growth of the trees we planted. The sculpture park is on 40 acres with lots of sculptures scattered around the park. There is a biannual sculpture prize of $100,000. Shall introduce you to more sculptures as time goes by.

Troubling times for those around us makes us realise how fragile life can be. Our neighbour is in intensive care after a very severe car accident. Another larger car swerved onto her side of the road. It took an hour and a half to cut her out of the car, before she was airlifted to the Alfred Hospital in the city. Her injuries are massive, and we’ll wait to see if she’ll survive. It makes us grateful for every day, as none of us know what the future holds.