Wednesday 13 April 2016


a p.s. to my last blog
with an apology to those 
who find it hard to read the red font

just another thought about the work of the panel 
and those in creswick who are busy 
trying to undermine that work

allow me to comfort you dear creswick citizens
with the thought that when i was in the same position 
 designing the 'architectural fragment' 
many hated the idea of a piece of broken architecture 
     in the main street of melbourne, 
but i persevered and won the council over 
although not many of the populace
however, in time, the work got installed 
and has grown into one of melbourne's icons 
and a very well loved sculpture
which over the years has received a few awards 
of being the most popular sculpture in town 
and recently was included in 
the top 25 creative sculptures in the world.
and more recently the prestigious magazine 
architectural digest
 surveyed 11 of the world's most fascinating
sculptures and the fragment was one of them

so, dear citizens of creswick
please hang in there
don't take any notice of those undermining the work
you'll be surprised what will eventuate
when the work is in place and people, 
especially through the eyes of their kids,
will start to enjoy it  

and it will be a much visited and photographed work
 just like my fragment

petrus april 2016

Monday 4 April 2016


A few thoughts about art and the ignorant

Whenever writer or an artist or an architect, or any practitioner of the arts makes his or her work public there will always be those that like it and those that do not. This will usually result in some sort of a controversy. Therefore if you are engaged in one of those cultural fields you better have a thick skin. Because if you take any notice of these criticisms from the ill informed, you will never create anything.

A case in point is the proposal for the public sculpture for Creswick‘s Calembeen park. With which councillor Henderson is playing childish games, especially since he sat in when the arts panel was deliberating and had a chance to make remarks, and the remarks he made during that meeting where encouraging. Then in last week’s paper the same councillor Henderson who seemed to agree to the choice of the arts panel, since there was no protest from him, when they met to deliberate, is now appearing in the local paper with another sculptor and his lump of cement parading as an alternative sculpture, stating that the locals were unhappy with ‘dearest’, with the ‘local campaigner’ (and what does that exactly mean) Kronenberg, getting in his few bob’s worth by starting the rumour to call the sculpture the wrecking ball and thus undermining the work.

All this says nothing about the art, but plenty about the people stoking the flames of this artificially created controversy. The ignorant, the lazy, the plain confused and ill informed have not done the work, have not taken the risks, whose live and livelihood are not bound up at every moment with what they are making, who have given no thought to the medium or the method but will momentarily glance up from their latte or beer and make their lukewarm statements as if they know about art.

They show the Creswick audience that they can absorb in a few moments, and without any effort the sum total of the artist and his art.

How do you think the artist feels when he, in good faith, puts his idea forward to the arts panel whom, in good faith, deliberated and came to their conclusion, which they then presented to the council. They are only advising and the council makes the final and in this case, the right decision.    

I stated before that as an artist you need a thick skin, it seems that in Creswick as an artist you need an extra thick skin.

Life shrinks and expands in proportion to one’s courage and to be an artist you have to be courageous

Petrus spronk. artist



                                                Taking the wild out of wildlife

The morning is autumn, fresh and cool but promising a warm sunny day. All seems well in the world, until a scream tears a hole in the peaceful morning silence. Until a car driving through the forest hits a kangaroo and leaves it, with its joey still in its pouch, lying on the side of the road. The driver, either in a hurry or not caring, or plainly bereft of any feeling, drives on.

Meanwhile the kangaroo and its joey unable to move are discovered by a couple of people, more caring who, on a morning walk along the track, find the kangaroo and desperately want to help. However, since they are from the city and just do not know what to do in such an event, are at a loss of how to deal with it. Having only just passed my house they decide to knock on my door and ask me for advice. Luckily I am home and I know exactly what to do. I call the guardian angels John and Gail, the loving spirits of the local wild life shelter.

Besides acting as doctors for many animals, they are also the ambulance service to collect them, from wherever they are found, plus caring nurses during the time the animals are at their care. Plus more, so much more.

Soon after I call, John arrives and after having examined the damage and sedated the kangaroo places her in his car and takes her home. Here he and his partner Gail will mend the damage and nurse her back to health, after which they’ll release her back into the forest. This is a day and night commitment of being present to collect, give first aid, nurse and care for their charges.

It is here, tucked away in the wombat forest, that John Rowdon and Gail Chappel, both environmental scientists, practice their particular concept of love for animals. Besides the kangaroos, which are the most represented, there are all sorts of animals in need of care. Their place is a veritable zoo. including a variety of birds, wombats, koalas, they even have an emu. Plus a  variety of reptiles.

John and Gail, work, or should I say slave, away and practice compassion and empathy by creating a healing and gentle-life in their wild-life shelter. With much love and even more patience they have worked away for many years to look after wild life which has been damaged by fencing, by cars and more and more by dogs.

During one year, for instance, they responded to 700 calls. There were 140 kangaroos, 32 wallabies, 30 wombats, 32 possums, 5 gliders, 23 koalas, 152 birds, 5 lizards, 3 echidnas, 11 micro bats, plus 1 phascogale. Of those animals 82 were euthanized due to their injuries and 76 died. 276 made it back into the wild.

This number of animals needing care has greatly increased today due to the drought. The animals come closer to where people live, and to the roads on the side of which they like to graze due to the availability of native grasses there, which they favour.

All this begs the question; how do they raise the funds to carry on their remarkable work. The shelter is in need of food, medicines, bandages, potions, syringes and blankets and probably many more costs that I do not know about.

So dear readers let’s get together on this project. If you, just once a week for three weeks, give up a cup of coffee and donate the money thus saved, you would be able to donate $10.00 (tax deductible) per month. Their project is titled WILD500. Because they need 500 people to partake to keep their work alive, which at the moment is mainly funded by the occasional donations and their credit card. And frankly, they deserve better.

This is the info you need to donate to WILD500. Please do it. Contact your bank and direct debit $10.00 per month from your account into the direct deposit at the Bendigo bank. BSB 633-000, Account 148 1 19613, and you can be assured that you are saving precious wild life without you having to lift a finger.

I have signed up to this, I hope you will too.