Monsalvat


WARNING: This post comes with lots of photos....16 to be precise!
Which isn't bad really considering that during my visit to Monsalvat in Eltham, I actually took 40 in total.....without even trying.


Imagine my delight when a friend invited me to join her for a visit to Montsalvat.  It had been on my list of places to visit for quite a while, but for various reasons previously, I hadn't managed. 
So I was thrilled to finally appreciate this amazing place where inspiration permeates every pore of your being as you wander through the beautifully aging buildings.
From its beginnings in the middle of the 1930's it was a centre of creative activity and remains so to this day and is still ‘home’ to a number of artists, including painters, sculptors, instrument-makers and jewellery makers. Many live at Montsalvat, while others choose to visit in order to teach classes or workshops.


 
(The Meeting Pool restaurant)
Montsalvat was founded by Justus Jörgensen and is Australia’s oldest artists’ colony and home to practising artists. It remains to this day a working not-for-profit arts centre administered by a board. Set in 12 acres of established gardens, the historic buildings include charming mud brick cottages and the impressive Great Hall.
To read Justus's complete biography click here 


 (The Meeting Pool restaurant entrance)
In 1935 Jörgensen purchased land and with his friends commenced work on the buildings that became Montsalvat. The first buildings were two small ‘French Provincial’ style cottages where they could stay at weekends. One was referred to affectionately as 'Lil's House'. Lily was Jutus' wife.


(Entrance to The Barn Gallery)
During World War II Monsalvat become almost self-sufficient with a market garden, poultry farm and small dairy. Several more buildings were hastily built for the ‘farm’ - the dairy, barn, stables, silos and storehouses belong to this period.

There are gardens, steps, nooks, twists and turning paths to explore, whilst soaking up the creative energy which radiates from every aging stone and building. 
There always seems to be a surprise around the corner or at the top of a flight of stairs.

(The ornamental pool)
Jörgensen had the ability to make use of whatever material was at hand. The earth and stone from the excavations formed the walls, with other materials sourced from wreckers’ and builders’ yards across Melbourne.

 ( The Bluestone Chapel )
The Chapel was the last building to be completed before Justus Jorgensen died in 1975. Despite failing health, Justus taught himself to drive a small cubdozer in order to move bluestones to the building site. Completion of the chapel became his obsession as he made it known this was where he wanted to be buried. 


Montsalvat is a stunning location and has been used for photographic shoots from fashion shoots to a large-scale TV production. From the splendour of the Great Hall to the old-fashioned charm of the white mudbrick stables, there are many locations within the 12 acre property to choose from. 
Montsalvat is also the perfect setting for a romantic wedding.

Every path invites you to explore....





 ( The Great Hall)
This mainly stone building includes two galleries, a studio and a large dining hall.

An artists cottage with actual resident artist in situ...take a peek through the window....
Artists can reside at Monsalvat from 2 weeks up to 6 weeks and sometimes further. 

Jörgensen established Montsalvat as an arts colony and centre for creativity in all its forms. Montsalvat still fulfils this vision through its resident artist community and strong focus on events presentation and educational development. Whilst artists are encouraged to focus on their own work there are opportunities to come together within the Montsalvat community to share their inspiration, research and talent. 
Workshops are available...
Check out the website for futher details...click here

Some of the other stunning residents of Monsalvat...

(The whitebrick stable block)

I had a wonderful day and even though my friend wasn't happy that the sun didn't shine...I think Monsalvat shone enough without it!

One last photo just in case you're not into art or architecture....how about some rusty machinery?


 I hope you enjoyed your visit to Monsalvat. It's a magical place and one I know I'll revisit soon.
Have a great week...wherever you are :D