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Festivale's Pictorial Guide to Melbourne and Victoria; 160x480 Visit Victoria
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William Ricketts Sanctuary visit

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Ricketts created his own exhibition space, or perhaps, his exhibition space recreated him.

Natural art gallery, William Ricketts Sanctuary, Mt Dandenong Tourist Road, Victoria, Australia; rickt17.jpg - 21464 Bytes

The figures are sometimes hidden for those who seek them. They are integrated into the environment, hidden under the fronds of ferns, standing tall beside the straight trunks of the trees, and sometimes with a trickle of water fed from the springs above.

quotation, William Ricketts Sanctuary, Dandenongs, Victoria, Australia; rickt18.jpg - 24456 Bytes

The sculptures are carefully sited, some in cul-de-sacs with oval entrances. A frame to see through, a place to pass into, and often a plaque - a thought, a story, a manifesto from the artist.

pic, William Ricketts Sanctuary, Dandenong, Victoria, Australia, image; rickt16.jpg - 23172 Bytes

There is something peculiarly Australian about the meeting of influences in Rickett's work. Europe and Aboriginal and Asian is our place in the world. I don't know if this is what my spirit has become when I reconcile the many influences of Australian existence, but the icons are both familiar and strange.

It is a place that a man's spirit built, which is not to deny its validity or interest. It is an exploration and a starting point for discussion, and we are fortunate that it is being preserved (by the Parks and Waterways department).

pic, William Ricketts Sanctuary, Dandenong, Victoria, Australia, image; rickt16.jpg - 23172 Bytes Statue, William Rickett Sanctuary, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; rickt05.jpg - 13733 Bytes

You may want to think twice about taking the kids to this place. The statuary is delicate and irreplaceable, and it is a definite do-not-touch place. If your kids will obey that prohibition, then take them, otherwise there are plenty of other sites on Mount Dandenong tourist road for them to see.

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Ali Kayn

In answer to numerous requests about William Ricketts materials, we have this statement from the Parks people:
We are not allowed to sell anything over the Net, People can inquire about the books and Video, (we stock the USA system NTSC) and send a cheque or money order before the goods are sent postage and packing extra. Video sells for A$25 and a range of books from $2 to $25, we also sell 6 postcards 6 note cards , badges, magnets, spoons and posters, we have a limited range as per the wishes of William Ricketts, as he did not want the Sanctuary commercialised like a normal souvenir gift shop.
21 January, 2000

Festivale recommends that if you are seeking materials, you contact the Parks authority and get the latest information on availability, costs, etc.

Just the facts:


Open daily
Contact: web site

Visit Victoria
Getting there:

Infrequent buses run along the Mount Dandenong Tourist Road.