Profile of Chris Calverley, who was awarded Life Membership of the Landscape Industries Association of Tasmania at the recent Excellence Awards.
Chris Calverley was born in Launceston, Tasmania. Memories of a childhood immersed in the powerful local terrain of Cataract Gorge are a bed-rock of inspiration.
At an early age, grandparents Corrie and Jack Roach kindled an appreciation of simplicity as a way of life, and instilled in Chris an abiding love of plants, gardens and the Australian bush. Intrepid expeditions as a young teenager, caving, rock-climbing and bushwalking, exploring Tasmania’s rugged heart, left a powerful impression of the wild, and a deep fascination for the primeval flora of Gondwanaland.
In the 1970s Chris attended the Launceston School of Arts, studying sculpture under tutelage of sculptor David Hamilton. David recognised Chris’ gift, encouraging him in his exploration of the three dimensional form.
A brief period in the wilds of Tasmania, working around the Franklin and Gordon Rivers in the 1980s and another chapter pursuing agricultural dreams in Northern NSW enriched Chris’s knowledge of the Australian landscape and flora.
A pivotal episode was spent in the restoration of Mount Macedon gardens of Victoria, including Cameron Lodge and Dreamthorpe, after their destruction in the Ash Wednesday Fires of 1983. It was there that eminent American landscape architect Professor Michael McCarthy urged Chris to pursue his unusual talent for rock work and creating forms in the landscape.
Over the last 20 years Chris’ body of work has accumulated to the point where it contributes significantly to the identity and artistic fabric of the City of Launceston. His works are imbedded in the City’s cultural heritage.
Chris divides his time between numerous commissions across Tasmania, his daughter Miah, gathering moss and his retreat at Diddledum Plains by the St. Patrick’s River, a source of quietude and solace, inspiration and rejuvenation.
Chris’ sculptural works speak of what it is to dwell in a specific place, and at the same time, be a child of the universe.
Chris was awarded Life Membership of the Landscape Industries Association of Tasmania at the recent LIAT Awards of Excellence.
For more information on the awards visit: http://www.outdoordesign.com.au/article/LIAT-Awards-of-Excellence/1051
Photo: Chris receiving his Life Membership at the LIAT Awards of Excellence.