Mount Monument, like its sibling Hanging Rock, possesses the ‘lure’ factor. It has a strange ability to draw people in, particularly creative people. It forms a relationship with them that is both charming and dangerous. ‘Beware the element’ wrote Janet Frame about the New Zealand landscape. Her words resonate here with equal weight. Engage at own risk.
Melbourne architect Nonda Katsalidis was lured in 2008. He built a private home at its base. The farmhouse that was already on the property was left intact but was enveloped by the new house like a Matryoshka doll. This is a volcanic landscape after all, things in the way get swallowed up over time. The house is made of steel and nestles into the mountain careful to hold its own without being too intrusive on the landscape.
The established vineyard has been cultivated to produce wines that reflect the rare volcanic silica soils of the land. The Mount Monument Pinot Noir in particular possesses the exceptional mineral flavour characteristics that this soil brings to the palette.
Rachel Peachey and Paul Mosig (RPPM) are my long-time friends and collaborators. The three of us established the Creative Spaces website more than ten years ago and have remained friends ever since. We have watched and participated in each other’s professional growth for over a decade so it was only natural that we continued our relationship with Mount Monument.
I invited Paul and Rachel to undertake a mini arts residency at the property. I wanted to see the influence that this landscape would exert on their already spectacular work. They spent a few days meandering around its base and then scaling sections of its rockface. They endured freezing cold mornings to capture the mesmerising and shifting light of daybreak on this 6.25-million-year-old rock. No strangers to heights (they live in the Blue Mountains of NSW) they went where others feared to tread to create the stunning work you can see on our website and here.