A look behind the scenes of our artists work

LIVING SIMPLY: Roger McKindley's found objects sit in families both inside, and outside in his sculpture garden. Photo: Dylan Burns
LIVING SIMPLY: Roger McKindley's found objects sit in families both inside, and outside in his sculpture garden. Photo: Dylan Burns

The Newstead Art Trail, sponsored by the Regional Centre for Culture, is giving people the opportunity to see how artists work this March.

The Newstead Art Trail invites people to travel from Walmer, to Green Gully, Newstead, Strangways and to Sandon to see how ceramists, sculptors, printmakers, painters and other artists work at home in their own studios.

Roger McKindley, of Newstead, lives in a 140-year-old cottage, without power and running water, amidst the found objects which make up his Antares Iron Art Garden.

Mr McKindley plays with shapes and the way in which he arranges his objects into ‘families’ creates unique patterns. 

“Everybody sees something different in a pattern. It is up to individual interpretation.

“I display and re-interpret objects. I elevate and raise things up that have lived,” he said.

Arranged as they do, with Mr McKindley’s creative eye for detail, the garden of found objects is uniquely beautiful.

All of the irons live in one place, as do all of the scissors, and all of the chains. 

“All of the broken and unwanted come here to live. I relish other people’s rubbish, except for plastic. I work mostly with iron, but also with wood, bone and metal,” he said. 

Mr McKindley can run a light off his car battery, but prefers the ambiance of candelight and the moon.

He estimates he has used 10,000 in a decade of living at the cottage. That’s about three candles a night.

He lives a simple life with his best friend Finnigan the dog and his cat, Bunjil.

His friend and organiser of the event, Angela Downs, said every time she visits the garden, something has changed. 

“You cannot get too invested in something in Roger’s garden. Nothing is fixed.”

Mr McKindley said his work is not financial, but rather, resourceful. He likes to inspire people to be creative with objects they find. 

“People come here and say, ‘I could have made that’. But I think, well, you didn’t, did you?” 

All studios will be open over the Labour Day weekend from March 10 to 12 and the following weekend, March 17 and 18. Some studios are open during the week.