Since 2004 Ken McDonald has been creating artistic features throughout the Southern villages of the Southern Highlands in NSW. From solid pieces of local Sandstone Ken has shown his ability to draw out incredible images of local flora and fauna.
In July 2020 we have created The Stonemason's Trail for visitors to the Southern Highlands to experience these sandstone pieces of art up close.
Take your time and enjoy the lovely scenery as you explore the local animals and plants immortalised in sandstone starting in Wingello, through Penrose and ending in Bundanoon (in reverse works too).
|Kenneth the Cockatoo|
1. Kenneth the Cockatoo
Wingello Village Store
WingelloVillage Store hosts the largest carving of the collection - a 2 metre tall carving of the local Wingello yellow-tailed black cockatoo hungrily attacking a banksia nut. Detailed front and back, starting as two dimensional at the bottom and ending three dimensional right around the top you can almost hear the cocky gnawing away at the banksia tree nut. It is in the perfect position to see all the fine detail in the stone.
2. Christmas Beetle
Penrose Public School
While sitting at his table one Summer, the inspiration for this bug crawled into Ken’s kitchen. It started as a scrap piece of stone from the quarry and was donated to the school by Ken for the children’s education and enjoyment.
It is in the gardens of the primary school.
|Elizabeth the Lizard|
3. Elizabeth Lizard
Penrose Road/Willis St, Bundanoon
Sponsored by Bundanoon Sandstone, this took over a fortnight to create in 2005. It started as huge 9 ft tall block until Ken discovered a crack after 2 hours work! “Lizzy" was a Bundanoon Community Association (BCA) idea.
4. Banksia Serata
Nancy Kingsbury Memorial Park
A native carving was desired and this lovely carving of the Banksia Serata fit the bill.
5. Gangang Cockatoo
Bundanoon Train Station
The BCA wanted a Cockatoo carved out of stone. Once more Bundanoon Sandstone sponsored this work of art.
|Wallace the Wombat|
6. Wallace the Wombat
Railway Ave/Brigadoon Drive
Wallace is very popular and is often decorated at various times during the year.
A lot of persuasion was put on Ken to make another wombat. The base was an interesting piece of stone lost at the back of the quarry.
7. Lyre Bird
Railway Ave/Erith Road
The Lyre Bird was the first crafted in this series, created in 2004. Ken went through over 10,500 images of Lyre birds on the internet, followed by 362 drawings to get the right inspiration. It takes a lot of work to get something this effective.
8. Edna the Echidna
Welcome to Bundanoon
In 2008 Ken had a severe attack of shingles and lost over 30% of his body weight. But he was still able to complete this Echidna which is very popular with the children.
This was the idea of the Bundanoon Green Team.
About the Stonemason's Trail
The Stonemason's Trail is sponsored and created by the Bruggeman family of the Wingello Village Store. We have enjoyed the many sculptures created by Ken and wanted others to share that enjoyment.
You can start the trail from the North or South and travel along a straight route. The map shows which side of the road the statue is placed.
Ken McDonald has been local in the Southern Highlands all his life. If you get the chance and meet him in the area, shout him a coffee or drink and let him regale you with his fascinating stories about his life in the Highlands.
|Ken posing with Wallace the Wombat at Christmas|