2013 Feature Artist – Russ Brebner
I am a collector. I enjoy collecting odd bits and pieces which has led me to designing and building my own creations.
It started in 2005 when I had an idea for some metal I found in the shed. I purchased a small welder and started from there. Each piece of metal on its own was nothing special but when I welded them together, they became a robot called Bert. I was so happy with Bert that I began to create more characters with pieces of scrap metal I had laying around.
Bert will always be my favourite, I continue to use him as my mascot and logo. I could never sell him.
More collecting, building and welding followed until eventually I had to sell some to make space for more. I packed up the car and headed to a local market thinking I would sell one or two. I sold almost all of them. The feedback from customers was unforgettable. I gained so many ideas for more creations. I began making birds, Australian wildlife and all sorts of other animals. My creations were getting bigger and bigger so I bought a bigger welder and an even bigger workshop.
I continued with local markets around the Mornington Peninsula and began to get requests to submit sculptures to local Art Shows. I had great success with the shows selling many sculptures and winning best sculpture award at the 2012 DACE exhibition.
2011 saw my first exhibition at the Frankston Art Centre. The show was hugely successful selling over 60 sculptures.
In 2012 I was fortunate enough to be selected as an artist for the “Mali in the City” program for the Royal Melbourne Zoo. “Rusty Mali” was the largest sculpture I had ever created but the most rewarding and challenging by far. Thousands of metal pieces were sculpted together to create an armor over a fiberglass elephant body to create “Rusty Mali”. Several months of collecting and building went into the project. “Rusty Mali” was on display in the city for 6 weeks before being moved to the Royal Melbourne Zoo for the month long 150th birthday celebration. “Rusty Mali” was sold at auction with all proceeds going to environmental programs. It was my proudest moment as a sculptor.
I continue to collect metals for my creations. It is, after all, half the fun. I never know what my next project will be as it all depends on what I find out there…