It was a different sort of bushwalk, even by Australian standards. I thought we might see some wildlife but I wasn’t expecting this.
Giant butterflies, a prehistoric looking dragonfly, a funny looking emu and a kangaroo that looked more like Robocop than Skippy.
You meet a lot of characters in the bush but I’ve never met sharper looking dudes.
I definitely never thought I’d be doing a tango with Sveltlana the Steel Ballerina.
The walk certainly got interesting.
We passed a crocodile dozing by the river who seemed lazily unperturbed by us. As did the silent snake and the giant Redback spider that I swear had a smile on its face.
I felt like I’d stepped into a Grimms fairy tale.
Or had we crossed over The Bridge into Terabithia?
No, we’re in the world of Tread Sculptures, in the Bend of Islands bushland of outer northeast Melbourne.
Who’d have thought that less than 15kms from home was this sanctuary of wacky sculptured art. This is a world created by Tim Read.
And this is the entrance. Mingalaba is Burmese for hello or welcome and that’s exactly what you feel when you arrive here.
Tim and his wife Karen greet you warmly to their five acre property, which they open to the public on the first weekend of every month.
We’re handed a rough looking map and invited to explore their bushy sculpture trail. It’s an oasis of tranquility and we meet all manner of steely characters along the trail.
Much later, back at their house we chat to Tim, who clearly loves what he does and sharing it with others.
Originally in the earth moving and building business Tim says … “A big part for me is connecting with stuff in a different way. Turning something that may have had an end date into something completely different. Not allowing it’s previous life to determine it’s value in the future. I truly believe that your past does not determine your future”.
I love his philosophy.
Not only does he turn the ordinary into the quirky and make new life out of unwanted materials but he carries this philosophy even deeper with his compassion for others.
He’s an advocate for those suffering mental illness and facilitates a local Mind Health Support Group called Blur, a safe place for those suffering mind health issues.
His home is a relaxed environment.
As we speak with him, chickens roam freely and Karen is pulling out weeds in their garden, stopping regularly to greet new arrivals. Tim invites us into his workshop and studio where there’s a cuppa and freshly baked scones on offer.
We feel like old friends calling in for a visit.
This is a special place, where you can lose yourself in creative inspiration amongst a tranquil setting. But it’s also much more than that. He’s inspired me.
“Your past does not determine your future.” Those words have stayed with me.
Tim Read is an ordinary man pursuing a passion, creating beauty and a new life from things the world no longer considers important.
His steel art is proof that there’s a second life in everything. To me that’s extraordinary.
He’s a great reminder of the talent there is in all of us and all the artists who create and make the world a better place to live in.
We all have our gifts. How wonderful when we can share them.
Sometimes the most surprising and inspiring places and people are right on our doorstep.
Tread Sculptures is open to the public on the first weekend of every month from 10am to 4pm.
Happy Creating everyone.
After all, we’re all artists in our own right, through our words and all we share, every one of us is the maker of something uniquely wonderful.
Have a great week.
Want to connect with me on Facebook?
Come check out my new group for like minded travelers
Outanabout YOLO “You only live once”