Thursday, 29 June 2017


WARNING for Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders, this post contains images of deceased person(s). 

ATTENTION: this post contains representative unclothed sculpture art of Australian indigenous people, that may upset some cultures.

This is a multi part series because of the quantity of photos. 

Photos are by me, Runningonempty, and all copyright. Copies by request to my email, as they will be better quality. 

The text of this post was written by Acerules, who is a 15 year old Australian girl, and are her own impressions.

Yothu Yindi are a successful Australian Aboriginal band.

Hey, it's Acerules 


I just wanted to add to what Jabiru just mentioned. 

The sanctuary was a peaceful and serene park with extraordinary pieces of clay moulded into the rocks and stones. 




The statues were so lifelike in their depictions of aboriginal spirit. It was interesting to see the aboriginal people portrayed that way, I hadn't really thought of them to be so integrated with earth and wildlife but I suppose it's true. The way the figures softly melted into the earth certainly shows that. 



(Editor's note, look carefully)


















 William Ricketts, below:


I remember laughing with my father at how strange William Ricketts sounded when he talked on the video about his connection with the aboriginal people. However, when I think about it, such an old race that is in tune with the wilderness from centuries of cohabitation, it wasn't so strange. It was an artist talking about his art and his belief in his art. If we didn't understand, then maybe we weren't meant to comprehend until we tried the aboriginal way of life. 

(Photographer's note, vandalised sculpture relief:)

















William created these amazing pieces of art that are his view on the aboriginal way of cohabitation with wildlife and with the earth. If he got it wrong he still got closer to understanding that bond than you or I.


I love that everything he made was done by hand. You can't imagine how long that would have taken even using the giant kiln that he had. 




He made plaster casts of the rocks then used cement to stick the clay sculptures to the rocks.

 He believed in nature and wildlife, not industrialisation and machines. Wealth was not a motivator like it is for a lot of people. He just wanted everyone to see what he saw in the aboriginal race.

By Acerules. Photos copyright by Runningonempty, sharper copies on request.

Part 3 follows, where William addresses white colonialism and destruction. 

SANCTUARY - Part one

This is a multi part series because of the quantity of photos. 

Photos are by me, Runningonempty, and all copyright. Copies by request to my email, as they will be better quality. 

Video by Bangarra , an aboriginal contemporary dance theatre. 

This post below is written by guest writer Jabiru, my husband, and all opinions in it are his. 

G'day everyone I'm Jabiru, recently my family and I visited the William Rickets Sanctuary in the lovely Dandenong Ranges. If you could ignore the other people it was quite serene, being surrounded by amazingly creative works of art in a beautifully lush bush setting.







My favourite was the child with the possum on her head. 


It's a very pretty rainforest setting with lots of ferns. It's quiet, dark and very green. We watched a video in what was his original log cabin home though now with the addition of a wooden floor, as he was content with only packed earth. 


Via the video we were made aware of his world view which to my mind contained too much of Rousseau's Noble Savage. He implied Australian aboriginal life was idyllic, pre white man anyway, but they were hunting and killing the animals he was talking about. They had no way to store food so in really lean times some would have starved, hence their nomadic way of life. 

His stated world view didn't encompass tribal warfare, painful initiation rites, scarification, and arranged marriages. Some Dreamtime stories have young lovers escaping their tribe, because one or the other is being forced to marry an elder. They would sometimes take women from other tribes too. There's good and bad in any society.

His environmental message was good and to be applauded but I think he was eccentric to say the least (but essentially harmless). In saying that, he was however, an incredibly talented artist who was methodical, driven and not at all concerned with making money beyond maintaining his very basic lifestyle. 





He obviously possessed a very moral inner core and in the end a generous spirit in leaving his many works for the general public to enjoy. 



The sanctuary was certainly worth the trip and I would gladly go back another time for a longer visit and recommend it to anyone, locals or visitors from overseas.

By Jabiru.


Part 2 follows.