Born in 1898, William Ricketts was an Australian sculptor and potter who developed a spiritual bond with the Aboriginal people of Central Australia. The time he spent with them, between 1949 and 1960 inspired his works in Potter’s Sanctuary (now known as William Ricketts Sanctuary).
The 92 intricate ceramic sculptures placed along the passageways seem as they are merging with the surrounding plant-life, thus expressing the strong bond Aborigines have always had with nature. Designed as a place where man’s spirit becomes one with nature, William Ricketts Sanctuary inspires us all to protect Mother Nature instead of constantly exploiting her.
William Ricketts spent most of his life in this sanctuary, located on Mount Dandenong, near Olinda, and died here, in 1993, at the age of 94."(odditycentral.com)
Born in Richmond, Victoria, in 1898, William settled permanently in Mount Dandenong, Victoria, in 1934. Although not trained as a potter and never technically superior (his works, large and small, frequently exhibit cracking), the power of his vision of a modern Australia that embraces Aboriginal spirituality and respect for the natural world was his general message throughout his artworks. His major works include the "Dromana" in the Seawinds Garden, Arthurs Seat, Victoria, and "Gun Brute" at the William Ricketts Sanctuary, Mount Dandenong, Victoria. Many smaller works are in the collection of the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney. Photographic records of his sculptures, particularly those from the sanctuaries of Pitchi Ritchi and Mount Dandenong, which have been vandalised, are held in the archives of Australia's libraries. Ricketts, never rich, supported himself through commissioned sales of his art and made pieces as gifts. These signed original small pieces are increasingly sought after for private collections.
From 1912 to 1920 Ricketts developed skills in playing violin, crafting jewelry and clay modelling. In 1934 he started his major artistic work, creating the sculpture park now named William Ricketts Sanctuary. He worked on this project until his death in 1993. In 1970 he went to India. He spent two years there, mostly at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram spiritual center in Puducherry, developing spiritual empathy with Indian people and knowledge of their philosophy.The main work of William Ricketts is the sculpture park that he named Potter's sanctuary, but which is now known as William Ricketts Sanctuary. In the 1960s the Victorian Government bought the Sanctuary from William Ricketts and made it a public park, where William Ricketts lived until his death in 1993.Wikipedia