The Urrbrae House Gardens and The Waite Arboretum are an ideal place for outdoor sculpture. The various gardens showcase a variety of styles, media and themes by a number of artists.
Several sculptures reflect the life of Peter Waite, a benefactor of this magnificent property who showed great generosity and foresight to the University of Adelaide, while other sculptures reflect the Australian Landscape and the history of the Waite precinct.
'Towards the Land' by Greg Johns is a narrative suite of sculptures, one of these depicts Peter Waite, a Scotsman travelling from an European landscape which is represented by roses and a gothic arch. Peter Waite steps into the Australian landscape with the burnt yakkas and heatwaves. Also depicted at his side is his dog 'Shrimp' his white scottish highland terrier, a bronze sculpture by Silvio Apponyi.
'Waterbirds' by Meliesa Judge. The sculpture features a set of five birds. The central figure is a male bird with wings outstretched protecting the female nesting bird and their young. Water Birds reflects the strength and liquidity of working with the medium of bronze while the colours compliment its surrounding environment. The artist Meliesa Judge was awarded a Churchill fellowship to study in France in 2001.
'Waterbirds' was commissioned in 1998 by the Heard family.
'The Owl Pole' by William Kuiper features a Tawny Frogmouth Owl, so called because of its unique wide flat beak. The Tawny Frogmouth is sometimes sighted in the Arboretum. As reflected in this piece the artist prefers to focus on contemplation rather than on interpretation.
'Dance into the Light' by Meliesa Judge is located in the Garden of Discovery within the Urrbrae House Gardens. The sculpture depicts the moment of return, joy as Spring leaps forth. Ceres the goddess of grain and the custodian of the fertility of the land. Ceres dances and Proserpina her daughter dances with her, protected but not constrained by the parent, the child is depicted as independent but shielded by the mother’s robe that wraps around them both.. [more information] from the artist.
'Dance into the Light' was commissioned by the Jenner family.
Located throughout The Waite Arboretum, this tranquil park is filled with tall majestic trees, reflective sculptures and Australian wildlife. Established in 1928, The Waite Arboretum covers over 30 hectares and has around 2,200 labelled specimens of trees, all of which are growing under natural rainfall conditions.
Visually stunning features of the Arboretum include a heritage listed avenue of 68 English Elms, a watercourse and fine sculptures reflective of their environment.
Works of Special Interest
Some of the artistic works found within the Urrbrae House Gardens and Waite Arboretum include:
'Towards the Land' by Greg Johns - a suite of 6 sculptural narratives; Austen Steel and Bronze
'Professor James Davidson' by John Dowie ; Bronze
'Floating Figure' by Greg Johns; Austen Steel
'Waterbirds' by Meliesa Judge; Bronze
'Owl Pole' by Will Kuiper; Bronze
'Shield' by Greg Johns; Austen Steel
'Dance into the Light' by Meliesa Judge; Bronze
'Green Man' by Gillian Robertson; Ceramic
'Action and Optimism' by Bryan Tingey, Andrew Noble and participants from the Julia Farr Centre; Ceramic
'Armillary Sphere Sundial' by Margaret Folkard and John Ward; Bronze
Many animals also find their home in this park, such as ducks, lorikeets, egrets, kookaburras and the occasional Tawny Frogmouth. For the safety of these animals and the tranquillity of the park, dogs are not permitted to enter this area.
Thanks to the Palm and Cycad Society SA and the many private donors and artists for their contribution.