Welcome to Montsalvat
Welcome to Montsalvat, where the life of art is lived and a fabled past meets a vibrant present. Montsalvat is Australia’s oldest continuously active artists’ community; a place where art in all its forms is made and taught, and art’s transformative power is celebrated in exhibitions, festivals, concerts, workshops and artists’ residencies.
Montsalvat is also a place of welcome to all – old and young, committed and curious. Everyone is invited to find peace and pleasure in Montsalvat’s lovingly tended gardens, enjoy Montsalvat’s exhibitions, its restaurant and hospitality, and marvel at its complex of buildings that evoke a European past while exemplifying a very Australian trait of recycling and architectural inventiveness.
Dean Somerville Warner
1967 – 2018
Montsalvat is mourning the passing of our friend, fellow worker and fine craftsman, Dean Warner.
Dean has been beloved by generations of Montsalvat men and women, and by so many who met and worked with him at Montsalvat. We have treasured his gentleness, his loyalty, his quick eye for beauty and skilled craftsmanship. But Dean was more than an observer – he was a maker. Every corner of Montsalvat bears the mark of Dean’s creative attention to whatever was needed – a plinth for an exhibition, a display case for an instrument, a perfect small table to hold the water glass and books of a guest writer.
It was also Dean who would be up a ladder to get the exact shaft of light onto the chun-glaze of a blossom jar, Dean who understood the right height for workshop tables to serve hundreds of aspirant instrument makers, and who was lyrical about Australian woods and American Shaker furniture. It was Dean who hung great Afghan carpets from the high beams of the Barn Gallery, and made a friend of carpet maker and refugee Najaf Mazari in the process. It was Dean who worked with all our visiting curators, with volunteers, with staff in every part of Montsalvat, earning the affection of all.
Dean exchanged books and travel enthusiasms with us, drove Montsalvat’s tractors, and shared meals, music and laughter. He was a walking compendium of Montsalvat history. And even from underneath his habitual hat, we could see the spark that would light up his eyes at the prospect of beauty or the smile of a friend.
He was a kind, beautiful human being. We can remember Dean every time the Western sun sends it golden light across Montsalvat.
Arts Community image: Mariella McKinley Glass
Whats On image: 2018 Montsalvat Arts Festival, Matt Stonehouse Steam and Lumber
Arts Education image: Denholm Lappas, Claytalk