Saturday, November 12, 2011

about the shape of it

The 2010 theme for sand sculpting on the Frankston Foreshore was
‘Events that have changed the world’

The theme for 2012 will be ‘Toytopia

After living in Frankston for more than twenty years, The Other announced she wanted to see the McClelland Sculpture Gallery. The weather today was perfect, so we got in the car and drove off, arriving about six minutes later.

The Sculpture Park and Gallery’s 16 hectares – situated on McClelland Drive – were once home to Harry McClelland (1884-1954), local artist and philanthropist. 
In 1971 the gallery was established under the terms of his sister’s will, growing over the next 40 years with the support of several government bodies, and some private foundations including the Elisabeth Murdoch Sculpture Foundation.

Large sculptures – a mix of both classical and more contemporary works – are scattered across the site. 

Some of the works sit in carefully landscaped and quite formal gardens, while others are waiting to be found in native bushland settings. 

No, they aren't the work of Mr Curly

I don’t believe I’ve ever heard bellbirds anywhere but Sherbrooke Forest before today, but bellbirds there were!

Some parts of the gallery invite visitors to go on a
journey of discovery

There are indoor exhibitions as well but, following some recent heavy storms, parts of the ceiling in the gallery centre caved in leaving a dreadful stench of mildew, and no hope of exploring indoors today. 

We spent more than two hours exploring outside, and also visited the gallery café which – surprise, surprise – had a rather arty farty ambience with matching menu and prices.
There is one review on-line somewhere suggesting the service in the café was a tad snooty, but the woman who took our order was quite pleasant. 
Unfortunately, the waitress has a severe problem with anorexia. This did not put us off our tucker, but it does give one pause. I looked around the room and saw that everyone else was of a reasonably average weight – healthy or larger. The Other commented that the young lady probably weighed 30 kg and probably wouldn’t live to 30. 
It’s a tragedy because she would have quite a pretty face if it wasn’t so gaunt. I don’t know what causes such self-loathing, and I’m not sure what I would do if I managed a café and she asked me for a job. I would probably stick my neck out and risk handing her a card with the name of a counselling service on it, though I doubt it would help.

On a happier note, other gallery visitors today included a family with a Jack Russell [on lead], a couple sharing a blanket under the shade of a tall gum, and another family who had brought their own picnic.
One chappy with a ginormous camera round his neck [and partner several paces behind] seemed inspired and excited by the whole place, taking more pictures than steps and sometimes causing his respectful partner to bump into him.

It would be wrong of me to include too many photos, because part of the fun is being surprised and some of you may want to visit the gallery yourselves one day. You can check out the hours and details of free entry at the gallery website.
In a spirit of full disclosure, I should point out the gallery is on the Langwarrin side of McClelland Drive, not the Frankston side.

Recent news articles about a couple ‘from Frankston’ who were not so much ‘missing persons/ feared victims’ as ‘on the lam’ do not mention that they are actually from Langwarrin, so goshdarn it all, if it’s good and it’s in Langy I’ll claim it.
If the gallery is 6 minutes from home, it’s only 4 minutes to Dame Elisabeth Murdoch’s Cruden Farm. The next Open Garden Day is on the 20th November, and if life doesn’t get in the way it sounds like a good way to pass an afternoon.


  1. Frankston sand sculpture, tick.

    McClelland Sculpture Park, tick. We had a very pleasant time there.

  2. Hi Andrew. No, the Dame wasn't in the cafe when we were there, the closest was when she was in the audience one night when we went to see Barry Humphries. It was disappointing we never had a chance to car pool.
    It is hard to reconcile the mother with the son.

  3. I think it's really nice that you would want to help the Anorexic woman.

    The counseling card probably wouldn't least not immediately. But at some point in her life, she might appreciate that you cared.

  4. Bonza sand sculpture video, i especially like the sculpture with the jar of Vegemite, Meat Pie 'n' Sauce and Ned Kelly all Australian icons :-).

  5. Hi Dina, there are so many times we see people and think they need help, and then just end up feeling impotent cos there's nothing we can do. Sigh.

    Hi Windsmoke - those sand sculptures are really something, aren't they? Are you like me - not only remember the America's Cup, but remember having a cuppa with the chap in the wig as well?

  6. Love the sand sculptures, the talent that goes into them is remarkable :)
    Have yet to do the park, may get around to it this Summer ;)

  7. Hi Jayne, being free, the park is significantly cheaper than the sand sculptures, but yes, sand sculptures are impressive.

  8. Oh, sand sculptures - and the not-Mr-Curly ones - sound perfect for the Red Nomad OZ treatment! Maybe next year ...

  9. fascinating, I will have to get down south again soon and check these places out.

    Anorexia is so complex and the saddest thing :(

    I love your people watching descriptions, I could just see them!!

  10. Hi there! After your last hair-raising trip to Melbourne I bet you are looking forward to a return visit!

    Yes, call me perverse or even deluded, but I'm beginning to think the important foodgroups - fat, flour and sugar - have got an unjustifiably bad press.