Yesterday, on my first ever trip to Collector, NSW, I saw Dreamer’s Gate. There are many mentions online about this eerie construction, asserting itself in the landscape, standing stark in the dusty golden light and in full view of the local pub, but I hadn’t read any of it. I was taken aback by the scale and intricacy, heartbroken by its loneliness and the bizarre folly of it all. My mind raced, thinking of people everywhere, doing things for reasons they can’t explain, working with passion to useless ends.
I thought – this is what real art feels like. It does not seek permission, it does not ask to be loved, it does not strive to be beautiful, or clean or neat. It is not made quickly, or to direction. It is not normal, or safe. It does not even make sense. It is an idea that grows so slowly no-one can pin-point where it came from. And as the slow growing goes it will never be complete. It is hard. It is difficult. It is thankless. It will send you broke and into debt. And none of that will matter because it’s just something that you do, sure as blinking and breathing, while everywhere people tell you no and ask you why.
It is, among many things, an unfinished testament to your father built of chicken wire and cement in a vacant lot of a tiny country town.
Ah Tony Phantastes, thanks for reminding me about art. I need that more often than ever, these days. I hope they don’t tear down your sculpture.
…apparently Tony studied sculpture at the ANU School of Art. Does anybody remember him / know what he does now?