|From 2018 03 15 Melbourne|
Today's photo-of-the-day is from the William Ricketts Sanctuary in the Victorian Dandenong Ranges in Australia. There, on a peaceful hillside nestled among towering mountain ash, from 1934 until his death in 1993, sculptor William Ricketts fashioned 92 ceramic sculptures of native fauna and flora, Aborigines and himself. Ricketts was an eccentric and a narcissist. He was an environmentalist with a New-Age spiritual attitude towards nature. He often shows himself as an Aborigine in his sculptures and in one case shows his own torso growing out of a kangaroo's hindquarters. In the 1930s, his was one of the few voices celebrating Aboriginal culture in Australia. He was ahead of his time, but today, his treatment of Aboriginal culture as primitive and childlike is considered as much condescending as ennobling. In any case, his heart was in the right place and his sanctuary remains a treasured retreat from the hustle and bustle of nearby Melbourne.