Heavy Metal Archeopteryx: The Wall in the Wilderness (or ‘What I did on my Summer Vacation’)

Last week my family packed it’s bags, resuscitated the car and did a grand road trip of Tasmania. With the kids in tow we ended up visiting lots of places which had ‘world’ or ‘land’ in the title, including ‘Sea Horse World’, ‘World of Marbles’, ‘Platypus House’ and ‘Tasmazia’,(ok, those last two don’t, but really they should) most of which turned out to be pretty fun for all of us. Highlights included having Echidnas walk around our feet, $500 Marbles containing planets and black holes made of glass, Sea Dragons and more wildlife than you can poke with a stick.

We also took in some natural wonders, Cradle Mountain and the amazing Marakoopa Caves (with glow worms!)

For the dinophiles we visited Launceston’s Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery. It’s an impressive little museum with what might just be the most dinosaur skeletons per square meter in a single display anywhere. Packed into 20m x 30m are at least 7 skeletons, multiple skulls, fossilized eggs as well as several life sized reconstructions.(yes I was pathetically excited)

Last stop was the beautiful Lake St. Clair, isolated in World Heritage Reserve. Only a couple of kilometers down the road was an attraction which I admittedly hadn’t been all that interested in, but which Sanja was really keen to see: The Wall in the Wilderness.

The Wall is a 100m long relief sculpture by artist Greg Duncan, made from rare Huon Pine. Wood from Huon Pine trees is only allowed to be sourced from the forest floor as they can live 3000 years or more and grow incredibly slowly. The Wall depicts the history of the Tasmanian Central Highlands.

I’m not the biggest fan of that era but my lack of interest dissolved in the foyer where I was greeted by this:

Sculpture by Greg Duncan

I may have been shoving a little to get past Sanja to the door.

The Gallery houses not only ‘The Wall’ but also some of Greg’s other work. The sculptures themselves are close to photo real in their execution and depict wildlife and themes from the local region.

‘The Wall’ itself is a work in progress.

Yep, you pay good money to go and see an unfinished sculpture. The good news is that it’s worth every cent!

No part of ‘The Wall’ is untouched, and visitors get to see the roughed in, highly textured parts as well as those that are finished in Greg’s photo real style. The process itself was to me more interesting than seeing a completed piece.

Greg has been clever ‘monetizing’ the process of creating his colossal sculpture, and by inviting the public he’s also giving many people a chance to see how sculpture comes together.

It was a pretty cool cherry on top of our road trip.

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