Skip to content

Weekend Wanderings: William Ricketts Sanctuary

william-ricketts-sanctuary-dandenongs-melbourne-1042

The other day I went up to the Dandenongs with a friend and we went to the William Ricketts Sanctuary. It is park that is managed by Parks Victoria and it contains, I don’t know how many, but a lot of sculptures by William Ricketts.  Most of them are of Aborigines, both adults and children.

It is not a park or place that is what we normally consider a park.  There are walking paths through it, but you can’t really stray off them, as the area is natural bush land, and is covered in trees and ferns. It is very tranquil.  It was a great place to go and take photos.  Though, it was very overcst and I think it would have been better if I’d had my tripod with me.

There is a link above if you want to find out more information about it, but for today, I am just going to leave you with a gallery of the photos I took there. We are expecting a wet windy weekend, so not much photography for me, I hope the weather is better for photos where you are.

91 Comments
  1. Lee #

    Wonderful set of photos.

    May 9, 2015
  2. jasminelilovesphotos #

    These statues are awesome! I thought the ones at the Botanical Garden were something worth photographing. Very nice work!

    May 9, 2015
    • Glad you like them, it is nice because some are hidden and it seems everywhere you look there is something to find. Quite amazing.

      May 9, 2015
  3. I want to go there!!! Wonderful images of a wonderfully interesting and beautiful place!!

    May 9, 2015
    • It is a wonderful place Judy, it was so nice just wandering around it. Thank you.

      May 9, 2015
  4. This place looks great for taking pics! Love the vibrant greens and the sculptures

    May 9, 2015
    • It was good, would have been better if I’d had my tripod though, still, it was great to see it and get some shots. Thanks.

      May 9, 2015
      • I kick myself any time I go out thinking I don’t need the tri pod then end up needing it haha. Worst feeling ever

        May 9, 2015
      • It is, and it feels like a wasted trip, thankfully the other day the sky cleared a little so the light was a little better.

        May 9, 2015
  5. Too bad that Australia is the opposite of where I live!
    This park is really wonderful… I’ve never seen anything like this, and if one day I will have the opportunity to go “down under” is definitely a place I want to visit… it has something “oneiric”… alike in a dream… and It stimulates my imagination!
    thanks to these wonderful images :-)claudine

    May 9, 2015
    • That is too bad.
      It is quite amazing and original, it is very earthy, if that makes sense. That’s fantastic Claudine, I hope you get to see it one day. Thank you. 😀

      May 9, 2015
  6. Great photos Leanne. I think the cloudy day makes the photos look more mysterious which goes well with the sculptures.

    May 9, 2015
    • I think you are right, but boy it made it hard to get images in focus, haha. It was really dark at the start and many of those images just didn’t work. Thanks Raewyn.

      May 9, 2015
  7. Nice photos, but you know . . . the place is kind of creepy.

    May 9, 2015
    • No not really, when you think about it, it is like how it would have been, lots of Aboriginal people in their land, in their environment. It is a good message to us that we don’t own the land and that we need to respect it.

      May 9, 2015
    • I don’t have a lot of experience with Aboriginal people, but I’m going to surmise they were not embedded into tree trunks.

      I think I would like free-standing representations but the partial anatomy coming out of the fake or real trunks . . . yeah, still a bit creepy.

      May 9, 2015
      • No they weren’t embedded, but they were part of the landscape, and I think his sculptures show that, that the indigenous people were as much a part of the landscape as the rocks, the trees and the animals. They belong.
        Free standing would separate them, that is what we did with colonization.

        May 9, 2015
  8. what a feast for the eyes – thanks

    May 9, 2015
  9. Morning Leanne 😃
    Wow, the sculptures are amazing – so life like. Gorgeous images of a beautiful place.

    May 9, 2015
    • Morning Robyn.
      They are really good, he really understood his subjects. Thanks Robyn, lovely spot for photos.

      May 9, 2015
      • Yes for sure. Must look him up. Sounds like a nice day Leanne 😃
        Have a great weekend!

        May 9, 2015
      • It was a nice day, then a lovely lunch in Olinda.
        Thanks Robyn, you have a great weekend too.

        May 9, 2015
  10. What a visual treat of aboriginal sculptures! Moss has grown over many of the figures blending them all the better with their natural surrounding. An overcast sky may have helped making them look even much better than in bright sun shine. Thanks for sharing!

    May 9, 2015
    • I agree Peter, they do blend in well, like they are part of the landscape, which I think is how we should think of Aboriginal people, they are part of landscape and an important part. I think the overcast sky was good, but it made taking photos hard, will have to use a tripod next time. Thanks Peter.

      May 9, 2015
  11. Quite striking! I remember that sanctuary as a dark nearly foreboding place. Such a fascinating body of work by this artist.

    May 9, 2015
    • Thanks Chris, it is dark and foreboding, especially the other day with such an dark sky. It is quite amazing what he did. I really liked it.

      May 9, 2015
  12. Those are very beautiful sculptures! Looks very peaceful!

    May 9, 2015
  13. The sculptures really come to life with the greenery as a backdrop. Quite a nice place to take pictures 🙂

    May 9, 2015
    • It was a nice place, I liked the moss it really added to them. Thanks. 🙂

      May 9, 2015
  14. Hey Leanne … ah another place I didn’t get to in Melb. Wonderful pics 🙂

    May 9, 2015
    • You will have to start making a list Julie. Thank you. 🙂

      May 9, 2015
  15. lovely and peaceful

    May 9, 2015
    • It was certainly that Debi. Very nice.

      May 9, 2015
  16. What an amazing place! I’m sure you found inspiration around every corner.

    May 9, 2015
    • Oh yes, everywhere you looked there was something to photograph.

      May 9, 2015
  17. Very serene and calming pictures and environment.

    May 9, 2015
    • Thank you, it was a lovely spot to visit.

      May 9, 2015
  18. Very interesting place! Great shots.

    May 9, 2015
  19. Leanne I think you have such a great eye and that you always do a fabulous job with your photography. I do find the sculptures a bit eerie simply because they are so lifelike and it almost feels like an invasion of sorts. I look at the sculptures and it causes me to pause and think that the sculptures were modeled in the likeness of actual people so it is almost like they have been frozen in time, kind of sad in a way I think. They would be good subjects to paint though since they wouldn’t move 😉

    May 9, 2015
    • Thank you Heather. You aren’t the only one that thinks that, I don’t think it is an invasion, I like to think it is a reminder that we stole the land. The sculptures are amazing and yes, I think the same, you can see the personalites as well. That’s true, have to love a subject that doesn’t move. 😉

      May 9, 2015
  20. What a great gallery of photographs you have provided for our viewing. Thanks…

    May 9, 2015
    • You’re welcome Mary, and thank you.

      May 9, 2015
  21. amazing sculptures!! The spirits of those who walked and lived there! Beautiful shots Leanne

    May 9, 2015
    • Thank you Cybele, I think similar, I love the way it portrays the people like they are part of the land and as if they should be there.

      May 9, 2015
  22. Such a wonderful place and lovely photos. It looks so calm and tranquil and the sculptures are really amazing – made within nature – sharing two worlds.

    May 9, 2015
    • So true Debby, there is that lovely connection, thank you.

      May 9, 2015
  23. Gorgeous shots..i have never been there yet..i must try and go..amazing artist and wonderful way to combine art culture and some lessons as well..we have rain here so glad..we need it..but of course no going out for me..:) Bev

    May 9, 2015
    • Thank you Bev, you should see if you can get there, I’m sure you will love it. No going out for me either, it is going to be raining cats and dogs here tomorrow. You will have to practice using that new macro lens Bev.

      May 9, 2015
      • I will get there one day..such a wonderful place from the looks of it..very serene 🙂 yep it is raining here and i could not be happier…practice is right..it sure is funky to get used to 🙂 i was spoilt rotten because hubby got me a tripod today ..so i better get busy! hope you have a super rugged up and warm Mother’s Day 🙂

        May 9, 2015
      • I want your hubby, mine would never buy me any photography gear. I have some more articles to write, so no photography for me, lots of typing.

        May 9, 2015
      • He is a goodun 🙂 typing..yep..i have spent that much time sorting my mess out i never want to type again..if i see the words file conflict one more time……….

        May 9, 2015
      • He is, you’re very lucky, very lucky. Haha, I have some articles to write, looks like it is something I will need to get used to doing I guess. 🙂

        May 10, 2015
      • I am sure you will do a great job..:) and yep i sure am Happy Mother’s day 🙂

        May 10, 2015
      • Oh thanks Bev, oh yes, it has been a good day for you. 🙂

        May 11, 2015
  24. wow, what amazing sculptures ..

    May 9, 2015
    • Oh yes, Julie, they are fantastic.

      May 9, 2015
  25. There is a similar place in Italy I would love to visit…It is in Bomarzo: “The Sacro Bosco ” o the “Forest of the Monsters”.
    http://www.sacrobosco.it/

    May 9, 2015
    • I would love to see the photos if you go, sounds fantastic.

      May 10, 2015
  26. Awesome set of photos. Those sculptures are like none I have seen

    May 9, 2015
    • thank you Nora, they are quite unique, really wonderful.

      May 10, 2015
  27. Fascinating – I have wanted to go there for years, but haven’t as yet…. his artwork was quite controversial at one stage due to his subject matter, so I would love to see it first hand….great pics….thnks 🙂

    May 10, 2015
    • I hope you get a chance to go Dawn, I think you would love it, all made from clay, I think as an artist you would find it incredible. I can understand why it would have been considered controversial. Yes, you should see if you can make it, you could do it in a day trip. 🙂

      May 10, 2015
  28. It looks to be abeautiful and tranquil place, beautifully photographed.

    May 10, 2015
    • It is that John, so peaceful, thank you.

      May 10, 2015
  29. The sculptures pack an enormous amount of detail. Great set of photos to showcase such a magical place.

    May 10, 2015
    • They do don’t they, incredible, I love the expressions as well, you can almost see their personalities. Thank you Jade.

      May 10, 2015
  30. Lovely studies of the sculptural work!

    May 10, 2015
  31. A magical place. The statues are stunning, some of them so lifelike! Love your pictures.

    May 10, 2015
    • Thank you Zelmare, it is a magical place and a great nod to original inhabitants.

      May 10, 2015
  32. What a special place! I love how the sculptures blend into the nature, like they had always been there. Wonderful images!

    May 10, 2015
    • I like that too Tiny, yes, it is like the people belong there. Thank you Tiny.

      May 10, 2015
  33. Such a wonderful collection of sculptures! Nature and art entwined – from what I know, the Aborigines are very spiritual people, and he seems to have captured that in the beautiful surroundings. Lovely photos, Leanne.

    May 11, 2015
    • Yes, that is it exactly they were, the land and what was around them was very important. I like the way the sculptures are part of the land, like they belong. Thank you.

      May 11, 2015
  34. Wow, these sculptures are amazing! I would love to see them!

    May 12, 2015
    • If you ever come back, put it on the list and I will take you. The Dandenongs are gorgeous as well.

      May 12, 2015
      • Maybe next year. You are really tempting me.

        May 13, 2015
      • Perhaps I should keep tempting you. 😉

        May 13, 2015
  35. Di' #

    That is a lovely park! The statues are beautiful and some of them a little bit creepy. I don’t think I want to walk around by my self at this park. Hahaha! But, love your photos.

    May 14, 2015
    • It is nice, though when you are there it isn’t creepy, you are too busy trying to find the statues, they hidden and in plain site. Though I wouldn’t want to be walking around there at night by myself, that would be very creepy. Thank you Di’

      May 14, 2015
  36. WOW! What an incredible place! Great images.

    May 18, 2015

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. WednesdayWalkAlong in a Walled Garden | Wild Daffodil

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: