Figurative sculptor Brett Garling is creating a bronzed tribute to The Man From Snowy River for the town of Corryong, NSW.
Story By Lisa Minner
Brett Garling is in the backyard of his home and studio in Wongarbon, in central New South Wales, squatting down in front of a sculpture reminiscent of a large horse. He wears a pair of old shorts, a grey T-shirt, apron, work boots and a well-worn brown bush hat. It’s a cold, drizzly day and the ‘horse’ stands on a wooden platform underneath a piece of shade cloth extending out from Brett’s workshop. The sculpture’s back section is still a basic frame or ‘armature’ with the skeleton made from steel pieces soldered together then covered in chicken wire and carefully moulded into shape. A dried, yellow spray foam fills the body cavity, helping to give the dimensions and finer lines of the horse’s torso.
The project, a life-sized bronze horse with rider, has been commissioned by the tourist association in Corryong, NSW, a small town at the foothills of the Snowy Mountains. A founding member of the Stockman Artists of Australia and the Sculptors Society (Issue 12), Brett is regarded as one of Australia’s finest figurative sculptors. His distinctive sculptures and paintings are highly sought-after and exhibited around Australia and overseas.
Each year Corryong hosts The Man From Snowy River Bush Festival, paying tribute to Jack Riley, the man believed by many to be the hero of Banjo Paterson’s iconic poem. “The sculpture is more a tribute to the poem than to the man,” Brett says. “It’s going to be placed in the park next to the tourism centre, set up high so that the horse gives the appearance of coming up over the top of you.”
This story excerpt is from Issue #64
Outback Magazine: Apr/May 2009