It was a lazy sort of warm Saturday, and the Wolf was thinking about a drive. Just local mind you, nothing epic. Rang up Simon TASL and Deaf John, they were in. Rang up Arfer and Ms Fizz, they'd probably come. That was enough for a feral run.
Met at the Dead Bridge, as usual, and headed off to Rusty Roger's joint. (The complex matters resulting from this interesting visit are still ongoing and will have to be part of the next update.)
After RR's we toured off to visit Trefor Prest, a local sculptor of fabulous skill, and friend of the Wolf for about 30 years. Simon Tasl, architect, bon vivant, and general poodle-faker had long wanted to see the Tref, having admired a sculpture of his that held down the Wolverine Grog Cabinet, (see right).
The story of this little transaction is probably worth a mention. In 1999 the Wolf was skint, and coming up to his 51st B-day. His long suffering Missus, Her Musical Indoors, would be 50 at the end of the year, and for 2 weeks they would both be 50. He decided to buy them both something special, rather than pour grog down the throats of freeloading ingrates. So he went to see his friend Trefor, six months before the event.
The "Airship" was chosen, but on conditions. Payment was to be in instalments, and secrecy was to be absolute. A no-brainer you would have thought, but there were problems.
Trefor's missus, Belinda, is of a curious intelligence, and not only that, she knew Her Musical Indoors well, and taught hoofing to the Wolf's 3 sprogs. The chances of them all remaining stumm was not looking that flash.
The transfer of shekels, even in cash, posed the first problem. The Wolf just passed it off as "problems with some customers" which explained his lack of shekels. On Trefor's side, Belinda also noticed money,(sculptors, even exceptional ones, rarely being flush with the readies). He, on a spur of the moment , put it down to a mysterious Mr Firsk, who insisted on paying him cash, and not picking up the piece till he had paid for it all.
Belinda went through the phone book. "Where does Mr Firsk live? Hepburn Springs? There's no listing. Are you sure he's OK? Did you give him a receipt?"
"It's probably a silent number dear," lied Trefor through his teeth, "He didn't want one, and besides we've got the money, and he's not picked up the piece. It'll be alright."
Mr Firsk raised his head a number of times through those 6 months. We communicated thus: "Firsk here, is it safe to come over?"
I salute Trefor, cause he never waivered under considerable pressure, and the game was completed without a fault, to the ultimate delight of all.
The following details are from Trefor's website, which is well worth a visit and which is at: http://www.treforprestsculpture.com.au
Trefor Prest was born in South Wales in 1945. He attended Croydon College of Art in1960,
was expelled in 1961 and migrated to Australia. He had an undistinguished two year military career
as a tank driver in the Australian Army from 1966-68. He studied sculpture at the
National Gallery Art School, Melbourne from 1971-1973. During that time he also gained a welding
qualification from RMIT and a single arts subject, Modern European History, at LaTrobe University,
Melbourne. From 1974-75 he did graduate studies in sculpture at the Victorian College of the Arts.
In 1982 he moved to Strangways in Central Victoria where he built a large studio overlooking the
Jim Crow Creek where he lives with his wife
Belinda. He is not a prolific artist, and has accepted few commissions, preferring instead to follow his own enquiries, producing mainly small, personal pieces.
He has exhibited widely since 1972, participating in numerous group exhibitions in Australia and overseas.
What do you say, or even can "say" about art that is not about the word? I could say that there is something in Trefor's work that reminds me of Hieronymous Bosch, but that is just saying that the feeling I get when I look at a Bosch is similar to what I get looking at certain of Trefor's works. Others may not see that. I can see references to carcasses, insects, Japanese Kabuki, Dali, cartoons, whatever. It means very little to drone on like a wine buff indulging yourself with your own erudition and broad knowledge of western culture. In the end art is about what you feel, not what you know, it's visceral, not intellectual, so words are useless, as are critics, because they'll just tell you what they feel, not what you'll feel.
Just look at the images, and even these do not capture the feeling, as they are limited to two dimensions, and the sculptures have moving parts so that you can change the aspect. And then there is touch. The feel of the works is wonderful.
What is beyond dispute, however, is the mastery of materials, the sheer craftsmanship in moving an idea to concrete completion via wood, fabric,brass, copper, hair, steel aluminium,etc.
And then there is the humour, the sinister hints....but we are getting back to words which are inadequate. Just go and have a look, and if it grabs you, buy it and take it home, like I did.
I'll even let you use the name Mr Firsk, so long as you pay cash up front.