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.