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Dreamers Gate

Posted by
Stephen (Canberra, Australia) on 20 June 2011 in Art & Design and Portfolio.

This is Dreamers Gate. Yes - it is the same fantastic walled structure that you saw in parts 2 - 4 of my 'haunted village' series.
I hope you like this colour version of the shot.

Dreamers Gate stands on a block of land across the road from the Bushranger Hotel in Collector. The village is located half way between Canberra and Goulburn.

Tony Phantastes built Dreamers Gate between 1993 and 1997. His vision was to shape the piece as a homage to his father and the landscape. The resulting work has a listing in the Australian Heritage Database.

Phantastes created Dreamers Gate by using a technique he adapted from ship building methods. He made the sculptural 'skeleton' from wire tensioned in place and secured to a concrete footing. He then strengthened it with cross members of galvanised piping. Finally, he covered it with a 'skin' of hessian, plaster, chicken wire, mesh and a final layer of cement render.

Tony Phantastes described his work of art in this statement:

The landscape behind and the climactic conditions of the area dictated the shape of the sculpture. Working on the piece at all times of the year from early in the morning to late into the night in all types of weather conditions determined how it was formed. Rather than being planned, it wrote itself against the landscape. Dreamer's Gate simply grew up out of the earth twisting against the wind and the elements in the same way the trees that it frames grew. Because of this the work is totally site specific.

The narrative was a way to express the emotions of losing a father to cancer but it also picked up on local elements like the rich history of the Ngunnawal people and the Bushrangers.

The future of the monument is uncertain. Ten years ago, Phantastes lost a long and costly legal battle with the local council who sought to have the work demolished on the grounds that is was structurally unstable. At that time, he saved the structure from demolition when he strengthened it at the back with steel supports. However, there does not appear to be any plan for the site's conservation and preservation. The piece stands unfinished; and the place now shows all the signs of a ruin - with the sculptor's intent only fulfilled - for now - by the onlooker's free access to the site in order to marvel about both what is - and never will be.

NIKON D5000 1/30 second F/16.0 ISO 100 11 mm

mayoline from Hoorn, Netherlands

In color I find the picture very beautiful and exciting too!!!

20 Jun 2011 7:02am

DULCIE from Danville, CA, United States

I like the two diagonal directions in this shot. This is a good way to showcase this sculpture.
An excellent take !!

20 Jun 2011 7:09am

Elaine- from Vancouver, Canada

woah that is creepy lookin', like where witches walked up the stairs to the sacrificial alter!! and yes, 'what's he building in there?' great song but i had just titled another pic by that song not that long ago, and couldn't use it twice lol anyway, awesome pic, uber creepy!!!

20 Jun 2011 7:10am

Adela Fonts from Barcelona, Spain

... Gorgeous, stunning, superb, amazing. many adjectives friend! I whip in B / N. Color warmer and less disturbing ... talking about feelings. All of these wonderful ... as frames for a thriller! A hug, Adela

20 Jun 2011 7:14am

CElliottUK from Reading, United Kingdom

That is such a sad story. The bloody local council need to support it (Figuratively and physically), rather than demolish it!

20 Jun 2011 7:21am

parisa from shiraz, Iran

great where is it ?wonderful

20 Jun 2011 7:23am

Sam from Chennai, India

A great image of this wonderful series. Beautiful composition and colours. Love it.
And what a sad end to story of great dreams of a creative artist ... :)

20 Jun 2011 7:48am

thami from Morocco

Le cadrage et la lumière du ciel ajoutent au côté fantastique de la scène!
Bonne journée lumineuse!

20 Jun 2011 7:54am

Monik from PARIS, France

Insolite et surprenante sculpture qui s'inserre bien dans le paysage et à laquelle tu as su donner un aspect plus étrange encore...! ;-)
Bonne journée!

20 Jun 2011 8:28am

Marie LC from Entre montagnes et Bretagne, France

I like your frame and colors of this wonderful image. Nice serie

20 Jun 2011 8:28am

Nazzareno from Rome, Italy

Beautiful composition. I love the colors and the processing

20 Jun 2011 8:33am

dr pankaj shukla from panaji, India

looks[to me ] like a structure right out of the harry potter movies .... !:)

20 Jun 2011 8:44am

grouser from Ludlow, United Kingdom

Excellent documentation, both text and picture, of the hard path the artist treads here

20 Jun 2011 9:13am

Kat from Lorraine, France

Excellente cette diagonale, ambiance fantastique réussie, j'aime beaucoup !!!!

20 Jun 2011 9:30am

Phil from Sausset les Pins, France

The color gives more sweetness , Nice ! Phil

20 Jun 2011 9:30am

Olivier Paillet from toulouse, France

Wonderful catch !!! great shot ! well done !

20 Jun 2011 10:22am

Scene by Sharon Photography from Kingston, Ontario, Canada

what a fabulous photo and story - it is good that the artist's dream has been realized in the way it stands today - let's hope that the legal counsel decides it is a worthwhile heritage piece. You will have to keep us updated. (It looks less 'creepy' in colour)

20 Jun 2011 10:35am

Curly from South Shields, United Kingdom

It will probably be remembered as just a "folly" in the history books. Like your colour and textures Stephen.

20 Jun 2011 11:09am

Eric Cousineau from Sherwood Park, Canada

Your colour version is equally wonderful Stephen! I agree with Curly 'tis just one man's folly ...... ;-))

20 Jun 2011 11:51am

k@ from Paris, France

Really a loads of tales to write from those inspiring series.

20 Jun 2011 11:59am

Rick from Toronto, Canada

Tony turned out a masterful piece of work, and you totally did him photographic justice with this series.

20 Jun 2011 12:06pm

Lougris from Toulouse, France

encore une très belle image !! cadrage couleurs sujet, tout est bon !!

20 Jun 2011 12:26pm

Olivier from Manage, Belgium

Waouh, so good this light!

20 Jun 2011 12:30pm

tataray from france, France

Oui oui ... je préfère en couleurs.
Quel bel angle de prise. Extra.

20 Jun 2011 12:33pm

Shaahin Bahremand from Tehran, Iran

wow ! it looks like a great building at last !

20 Jun 2011 12:54pm


And what a skillful and Gothic looking piece he created here. A Very powerful and stylish creation. I Love the jaunty angle for this frame and the depth and life given by the vibrancy of hues. Fascinating history behind the piece. An excellent post, Stephen.

20 Jun 2011 12:55pm

Laurette from Fourways - Johannesburg, South Africa

The colour version of this photograph is fabulous. The light is just wonderful. Well captured !!

20 Jun 2011 12:57pm

Shaahin Bahremand from Tehran, Iran

looks like a fantastic building at last !

20 Jun 2011 1:02pm

MARIANA from Waterloo, Canada

do not know what love more - this awesome sky or texture in this stuff ! wonderful frame !

20 Jun 2011 1:21pm

Denny Jump Photo from Easton, PA, United States

What an amazing and extremely captivating story and text by the artist, and by you as well, Stephen! I am so intrigued by the construction materials and methods that were used...very unique. It is sad to hear of the potential demise of this area...If it were a "natural" demise brought about by environmental factors, it would be bad enough, but to have a situation where people are involved and have it within their power to assist, but can not or will not...That is a sad state to be sure. I hope that this encounters a happier ending but it does sound dire. By the way, your imnage, simply as a "stand alone" piece is magnificent, here. The sunset (or sunrise?) and the clouds and background are phenomenal in support of this magnificent small structure. What an amazing and intriguing story and place. So very well done, Stephen - Bravo.

20 Jun 2011 1:25pm

myky from London, Canada

This is so fascinating. Such a poetic title and history to this work of art and labour of love and dedication. I love the phrase..."it wrote itself against the landscape"...much like a recognizable form waits to be sculpted out of a rectangular chunk of ice. It may be destined to return to its origin, but the imprint will stay alive through your thoughtful and dramatic photography.

20 Jun 2011 3:11pm

Jason Politte from Conway, AR, United States

Love it! It holds the same sense of mystery, but the colors add much more for the eyes to roam over.

20 Jun 2011 3:46pm

Nicou from Sion, Switzerland

Quel ciel, quelle fuyance et ce rendu sur la pierre, fantastique compo

20 Jun 2011 4:57pm

Phil David Morris 2011 from Saskatoon, Toronto, Canada

Still equipped with a Stairway to Heaven, the imagination can run wild here as to
what might have been. The dried up colors work most beautifully in your backdrop,
the wide angle effect is perfection.

20 Jun 2011 5:19pm

alex centrella from California, United States

nice shot !

20 Jun 2011 6:07pm

john4jack from Corvallis, Oregon, United States

superb processing. fine pov

20 Jun 2011 6:14pm

Irene from San Francisco, United States

I do like the color version and the clouds behind.

20 Jun 2011 6:31pm

RBL from Oxford, United States

Wow! The color version is just as dramatic as the b/w...love it!

20 Jun 2011 6:59pm

guillaume from Paris, France

Superb !!

20 Jun 2011 7:57pm

Tede from Aubenas 07, France

Really superb and impressive, I hope you do not have too met ghosts! Good day.

20 Jun 2011 7:59pm

skarlet from kerman, Iran

incredible sky! like it...

20 Jun 2011 8:08pm

kiwisa from North Shore, New Zealand

Amazing work, I originally thought it was carved out of wood.

20 Jun 2011 8:37pm

Don Levesque from Saint John, Canada

The problem with most local councils is that most of them are not into art as art. For them if it doesn't make money it needs to be taken away. Have one person on the council that is into art and you might get money to help maintain this sculpture.

Beautiful textures and light!

20 Jun 2011 10:49pm

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

Well it's fantastic and beautiful. I'm sorry to hear of its uncertain future.

20 Jun 2011 11:53pm

Dokmateo from Madrid, Spain

This is a gorgeous shot,beautiful! I like the angle point and how you captured the sky! thumbs up!

21 Jun 2011 12:01am

vu@granby - Wolfgang from Granby, Québec, Canada

An eerie place! Well presented!

21 Jun 2011 1:18am

Anne from 新加坡, Singapore

Fantastic presentation, Stephen! Gorgeous image and information, beautiful sky, processing..superb 5*

21 Jun 2011 2:30am

Bettina from Los Angeles, United States

Wow, the treatment and composition are fantastic. I love angle chosen. Omious and dynamic at the same time!

21 Jun 2011 4:38am

PRASHANT from Mumbai, India

Great...wonderful background sky.

21 Jun 2011 8:56am

klausZ from Kufstein, Austria

a very nice title for this art-work, and your capture is made with an extraordinary angle and feeling for the light! perfect!

21 Jun 2011 2:34pm

Francisco Romero from Carbajal de la Legua, Spain

This is probably the scariest of the series. Great POV and colors! And a fantastic sky

21 Jun 2011 7:07pm

Suzanne from Melbourne, Australia

a sacry business for sure!
love the colour image and processing...
the sky is amazing

22 Jun 2011 9:02am

tatar@y from france, France

Oui oui je me rappelle, Belle série.)

21 Dec 2011 10:49am

1/30 second
ISO 100
11 mm