Take a drive through the Adelaide Hills region in South Australia, and you will soon notice sculptures of all shapes, sizes and styles popping up in public places. These eye catching works of art in chiselled stone have been crafted by master sculptors over the past few years during International Sculpture Symposiums held at The Cedars (once the home of Sir Hans Heysen, Australian landscape artist) near Hahndorf in the hills. The pieces were all created by the artists over the few weeks of the symposiums held in 2012, 2014 and 2016.
You can find all 26 sculptures on the ‘Hills Sculpture Trail’ which was developed from a funding grant by Regional Development Australia. The individual sculptures were commissioned by the hills local councils and community organisations with support from donations made by businesses, schools and individuals in the hills towns.
The sculptures can be found in the towns of Mount Barker (8 sculptures), Stirling (3), Hahndorf (2), and one each the towns of Macclesfield, Balhannah, Lobethal, Meadows, Littlehampton, Mount Torrens, Nairne, Woodside and Bridgewater. Some of the sculptures can also be found on the Fleurieu Peninsula, in Langhorne Creek, Mount Compass, Milang and Strathalbyn.
A full program of where to find the sculptures can be found on the website http://hillssculpturetrail.com.au/ where you can download a map or better yet pick up a brochure at one of the hills council offices. The brochure is a comprehensive guide which includes the names of the artists who created the pieces and their background, as well as the title of the sculpture, the material it’s made of, and where exactly they can be found.
Here are just 4 of the sculptures to tempt you into a trip to the hills.
‘Le Peloton’ by Silvio Apponyi (Australia)
Silvio is a hills based sculptor and was the Artistic Director for the symposiums. His vision to ‘enrich the hills with sculpture’ was the starting point for holding the symposiums to begin with. This piece can be found in the town of Balhannah and represents the helmets of a peloton of cyclists as they whoosh by. The Tour Down Under bike race event also passes through hills towns when it is held every January.
‘Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and…’ by Hwang Seung-Woo (Korea)
This terrifically intricate piece can be found in the town of Lobethal in a park bordered by historic buildings which once housed the Onkaparinga Woollen Mills. This area is now a hub for local artists and Hwang Seung-Woo created this piece with the historical connection in mind, portraying blankets and textiles piled up, in this marble beauty. This sculpture also won the ‘People’s Choice Award’ at the inaugural symposium in 2012.
‘The Key to the Heart of Mt Torrens and the Birdhouse’ by Canan Sonmezdag Zongur (Turkey)
As the title suggest, this stunning piece made of marble on a granite base, can be found in the town of Mount Torrens. A beautifully tactile piece that the artist created ‘to underline tiny details in our lives’…’small objects we unconsciously overlook’. The old stone building behind it provides a beautiful contrasting background too.
‘Co-existence’ by Francesco Panceri (Italy)
In the description about this artist’s work it mentions his use of geometric forms as metaphors of the human condition. This piece represents his ideas… ‘We are co-existence of body, we are air and earth, we are balanced and strong, we are free poets’. This sculpture can be found in Woodside on Onkaparinga Valley Road.
Finding the sculptures is like going on your own treasure hunt with most of them located in picturesque parks and open spaces in the towns. A day of driving to find them is a perfect way to discover what these hills towns have to offer and don’t forget to pack in a picnic or stop in at one of the tempting cafes and browse the unique shops during your travels too.
Keep your eyes on the website and I’ll show a few more of these amazing works of art in a future post.
Happy treasure hunting.