Imagine devoting your life to carving one of the greatest sculpture gardens in the world- and then losing everything…
This is the incredibly inspiring story of Bruno Torfs: How it began, how it was taken away, and how he made the best out of the worst thing imaginable.
Bruno was born in South America and lived there with his family till the age of fifteen. At this point the whole family made the move to Europe in seek of new opportunities. After working as a sign writer Bruno made a gradual transition to become a fulltime artist. Through his diverse talents and a spirit for adventure Bruno created a unique style full of culture and character. This was achieved through his many trips around the world.
Sketching the scenes and faces of his journeys allowed Bruno to return home and make oil painting and sculpture versions of his experiences. These artworks would then be sold in a series of annual exhibitions hosted in the lower levels of the family home.
After several years of this lifestyle, Bruno and the family made a decision to pack up and move to Australia to create a sculpture garden that he would run as a permanent attraction.The family arrived in Melbourne and shortly after had found the perfect place in the small Victorian village of Marysville. The luscious sub-alpine forests of the surrounding area – were the ideal setting for Bruno’s plan and luckily the property he purchased he a large section of rain forest attached. After five months of backbreaking work Bruno’s art and sculpture garden was opened to the public. Also on the property was a gallery that housed over 200 of his artworks brought over from Europe that included oil paintings, sketches and smaller sculptures.
The garden began with just fifteen life sizes terracotta sculptures, which evolved into over one hundred and fifteen pieces on display. The amazing sculptures attracted thousands of visitors each year.
But then disaster engulfed the town of Marysville and swept his beloved garden . . .
In February 2009, the Black Saturday bushfires overwhelmed the area. A series of bushfires ignited across the Australian state of Victoria claiming everything in their wake. They resulted in Australia’s highest loss of life from a bushfire to date. Bruno and the rest of the town were prohibited from entering the town for two whole months while authorities conducted an investigation and attempted to identify victims.
This was an unimaginable time of grief for the townsfolk of Marysville, not knowning what remained of their lives. Bruno received overwhelming support from friends, family, and perfect strangers from all over the world.
Bruno knew his gallery, garden, and home were completely destroyed before getting a chance to see for himself. The images below were taken the day Bruno was finally granted permission to return home.
The amount of sculpture that survived the blaze was a miracle.
With the help of friends and family, rebuilding Bruno’s home and gallery took less than two months!
After that it was time to start planting. The native ferns rebounded vigorously and the green slowly returned to the area. Unfortunately it will be many years before the forest resembles the old lush wonderland, but that hasn’t discouraged Bruno one bit.
What the gardens are looking like now…
Bruno’s words: “The bushfires deeply touched us all in many ways. It allowed me to see that people had a heart for each other, that when things really got dark, the best in us comes out. We have lost a lot, but life also provides us opportunities to gain a new vision, lots of new friends and a blank canvas to play. In the meantime, nature is already regenerating itself. The green is slowly returning and the rivers are flowing, finding new ways”.
Bruno’s story is a huge inspiration. Remember his struggle next time you have “dark” problems of your own. Perhaps it will provide you with the strength you need to breathe and watch ‘nature regenerate itself.’
Read more at http://www.realfarmacy.com/he-filled-a-forest-with-these-what-happened-next-is-heart-shattering/#7zZ5pGfRqBg1ZCCv.99