For as long as he can remember, Ron has had a love of the arts. Growing up with a European background, the arts have been impressed into Ron’s psyche. His liking and appreciation has continued to grow stronger over the years.
From an early age he had a interest in sculpture. Growing up near a ceramic foundry, Ron reminisced about the days of being a young boy when he would bring home broken ceramic treasures found amongst discarded rubbish. After finishing National Service in 1971 Ron made a life choice to follow his dream of being an artist.
Following his arts education at Claremont School of Art, James Street Technical School, and Midland TAFE under the tuition of Guy Grey-Smith, Ron made the decision to dedicate his life to what he enjoyed doing – making art. With the support of his wife Terry and close friends, Ron purchased the 12 acre property in the Swan Valley and here, the dream was born.
Building the sculpture park into the first class gallery it is today has been a careful balancing act, juggling the art of creating sculptural forms with the savvy of maintaining a business enterprise. The gallery boasts the achievement of being a fully self funded business. It does not receive any external funding. Ron muses he has both “the passion and stupidity to make something out of nothing”.
Regularly exhibiting at the annual Sculpture by the Sea, Ron has an impressive portfolio and list of achievements behind him. He mainly works on commissions now days, indicating this can be difficult as there is a lack of local patrons for sculptural art in Western Australia. Ron has worked on a number of significant overseas commissions and shared with ArtEd members work completed for the Sultan of Omar which included a large piece and over 2000 miniature versions which were hand crafted by the artist himself.
Ron’s current sculptures have become progressively larger in scale. For larger works he generally uses fabricated copper, aluminum and stainless steel. Many of his earlier, smaller works are cast in bronze. The ever increasing cost of materials makes sculpture a particularly expensive art form. With a lifetime of experience, Ron has a strong understanding of sculptural materials, processes and techniques and is reflected in the high standards maintained in his work.
Ron speaks passionately of the need to nurture the arts for the next generation and works tirelessly to assist younger artists with opportunities to develop their skills through artist in residence programs. Being in control of a private business gives Ron the freedom to work without relying on others and he takes pride in helping others in their personal artistic journey, indicating that it is important “to give younger artists a chance”.
The hardest part about being an artist is that “you receive very little praise. There is mostly just criticism”. Investing in the arts has been a life long passion and Ron is still living the dream, sculpture continuing to be an important and significant part of his existence. Building forms daily and running a gallery that benefits the lives of Western Australians. “Life is not easier, but its is richer because of the arts”.