Walter Brecely's Elementals speaks to the dichotomy of art and creation

Visitors to the Crookwell Tea House and Gallery’s recent exhibition “Elementals” by Walter Brecely, were amazed, inspired and astounded by the beautiful and thought provoking works on display.

Held over the weekend of April 20-22, Brecely is passionate about recycling and giving new life to discarded objects such as old spoons, soup ladles, wine glasses, broken glass and lawn bowls.

Bits of old timber and even discarded filters from diesel engines are all raw materials for this master sculptor.

While on face value this description might seem rather prosaic, Brecely’s creative outputs are simply breathtaking and you cannot help but be awed by his genius.

He said he strived to create works with an “organic feel” and he certainly achieves this. His elegant works are created with movement and life essence in mind.

Many are suspended using fine metal stalks that shiver and move with the slightest passing breeze or vibration. It responds to the energy of their surroundings, gently swaying and producing a range of sounds if you listen carefully.

Brecely also loves to work with light. Metal, timber and glass all go through highly technical and painstaking processes involving shaping, polishing and shining to create objects that catch and reflect the light, glowing, shimmering and apparently pulsing with inner life.

One of Brecely’s favourite techniques is using a special high temperature oxidisation process to coat metal objects such as recycled soup ladles with a beautiful iridescent coppery finish, creating a permanent coating that doesn’t tarnish or discolour.

Listen to Brecely talk for a while and you soon realise this man is a true master craftsman.

He has acquired a wide repertoire of advanced technical skills from a range of disciplines, including jewellery, metallurgy, engraving, polishing, sculpting, technical drawing and design.

Brecely has completed formal studies in creative, fine and visual arts, engraving, stone setting and foundry metal casting. His formal qualifications include a Diploma of Arts (Fine Arts) from TAFE NSW and a Bachelor of Creative Arts from the University of Wollongong.

As an artist, Brecely is driven to create things of beauty and transform objects discarded by others.

This, combined with his highly disciplined, meticulous approach and an almost obsessive quest for technical perfection, produces results are magical and simply breathtaking.

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