Home' Scoop Homes and Art : SHA 29 Winter 2011 Contents 114 HOMES & ART WINTER 2011
bronze casting, throughout Europe and Asia.
And he’s done it all on his own.
Ron ref uses to complain about the lack
of f unding or support for local sculpture,
but everyone you speak to acknowledges
his almost single-handed effort in
promoting West Australian artisans.
Collaborators have long admired his
energy, and have remained faithful to the
Gomboc Gallery, which Robert Juniper has
called “the best exhibiting gallery in the
State”. It has a two-storey exhibition space
that’s open to student and established
artists, exhibiting across a range of forms,
including painting, screen printing,
installations, sculpture and mixed media.
The sculpture park that surrounds it,
set in bushland, is a mix of works – most
on commission for sale – by Ron and other
local and international practitioners,
including Jean Pierre Rives. Ron and
Terrie’s home sits at the rear and is a private
gallery displaying dozens of paintings.
They’re gifts from noted artists, including
Robert Juniper and Rosa lie Gascoigne.
Ron conducts a tour, singing the praises
of his contemporaries while discussing
his own position in the canon only when
pushed. “I’ve become a better artist as time
goes on.” He pauses. “If you hang around
long enough, you can’t help but improve.
Making art is a journey that never ends, and
it’s dependent on many things,” he says.
“For instance, I never envisaged myself
as a gallery owner. When we acquired this
His work graces the grounds, forecourts and
interiors of universities, government buildings
and corporate headquarters worldwide
CLOCKWISE from above Evolution of Spirit for the Galaxy
project in Macau; cleaning bronze component of the CUB
Western Derby sculpture/trophy before it is gold plated; Ron’s
copper sculptures Together (foreground) and InBalance Two at
land, my work shifted up a gear. The size of
the property, and the room to move within
a large workshop, affected the scale of
my work. I received encouragement from
friends like Jean Pierre Rives, the French
sculptor, who gave me the courage to ‘go big’.
“Sculpture requires a number of things
to come together: a physical component
(it requires strength), a space to work,
the right tools and equipment, and a
supportive partner. The last of these has
been the most important for me. Terrie
has stuck by me through the lean times,
and I couldn’t do any of this without her
magnificent support,” he says.
“The artistic life gets into your blood.
Terrie and I sponsor a national annual
sculpture survey, and the prize money
for that competition sometimes comes at
the expense of improving our own home,
which is fi ne, but one day we’ll have to get
that new kitchen we’ve been promising
ourselves,” he smiles.
In the meantime, they’ll continue
to promote art in WA, and welcome
practitioners from around the world
through their artists-in-residence
program. Students who leave the safety of a
university environment will always find a
willing ally and teacher in Ron Gomboc.
Watching him at work is a lesson like
no other, as the master craftsman bends
his back into a huge square block of
stainless steel, his burned and calloused
hands cutting, grinding and pounding at
the object until its beautiful end form is
revealed. “Sculpting is like a drug: painf ul,
exhilarating, anxiety-inducing and tiring,”
Ron says. So, why did he choose art?
“I didn’t choose art – it chose me,”
he says with what appears to be a
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