Whimsical, magical, enchanting, philosophical, historical, human connections, thought-provoking are ways I’d begin to explain Bruno’s Art & Sculpture Garden.
All statues in the Marysville garden are created by sculptor and painter Bruno Torfs, handcrafted from clay and fired onsite in his kiln.
Bruno was born in South America and moved to Australia with his family as a young man. He settled in Marysville and began building his garden with 15 life-size terracotta sculptures. There are now more than 100 sculptures.
In 2009, the Black Saturday fires ravaged the township of Marysville and Bruno’s house, artwork and garden were completely destroyed. As were some of his sculptures, but not from the fire itself, they were affected by the army searching the area for survivors.
Since the fire Bruno has been restoring the sculptors, creating new ones and rebuilding his garden.
The unique collection of imaginative work on display in the garden will make sense if you have the chance to meet the artist.
My first encounter with Bruno, he was standing at the entrance arch to his garden and welcoming visitors. He had something on his head, and it didn’t look like a hat. On closer inspection I discovered it was a ladies' handbag upside down.
During my recent visit friends and I were greeted by Bruno as we entered his art studio. Again the meeting made me smile. He is a unique person. He’s child-like in the way he expresses his happiness – a highly creative person who thinks and acts a bit different. And this you see in his work.
When you walk through the arch into the garden your attention will be immediately drawn to a sculpture. Continue along the paths you will feel like you’re being pulled in all directions, your eyes will be darting from one sculpture to the next. From wizards to fairies, witches and goblins, the holy, the heroic, the crazy and the funny, Bruno’s sculptures will have you thinking, dreaming and wondering how this artist imagined and created these unique pieces.
On your visit make sure you allow yourself ample time to slowly wander through, as there are pieces hidden and you’ll need time to find them.
Warning: on your return home you’ll continue to think about the sculptures and may not remember a single plant!
Bruno’s Art & Sculpture Garden is at 51 Falls Rd, Marysville.