Sculpture by the Vines

Howard Park's art installation of living landscape architecture by Stu McMillan

Howard Park Wines are breaking the mould again, in a year of firsts, they continue to challenge perceptions of the traditional cellar door experience. This month, they unveiled a new art installation – Margaret River’s first vine sculpture.

Entitled Transcience, the work created by two-time Sculpture by the Sea exhibitor & Margaret River artist, Stu McMillan, was made using vine cuttings from Howard Park’s Leston vineyard after the 2018 pruning season, as well as branches from the stands of bushland on the property, & 500kg of the site’s terroir – gravelly, sandy soil.

All photos by Paris Hawken

The piece lies on the grounds of Cellar Door at the Cowaramup property & acts as a natural window – a round arch of woven vines & branches – from which to view the vineyard on one side, or the award-winning architecture of the winery building on the other.

Taking around a month to construct, artist Stu McMillan said the circular weaving motion he employed represented life cycles & patterns repeated in nature.

“Erupting from the ground, Transience reminds us that life is in a constant state of renewal and decay, where nothing is fixed, however it is important to remain connected to the earth,” Stu said.

Stu hoped that Transience invited viewers to cross its threshold into potential new beginnings, offering a metaphor of hope & growth.

“Viewed from afar this artwork offers a different angle of perspective breaking the tree line, where interactions with the environment and architecture are numerous. This view changes throughout the light and weather transitions of the day,” he said.

This is the second sculpture installation at Howard Park’s cellar door this year, after exhibiting the region’s first suspended floral sculpture by renowned florist Rebecca Grace back in April.
This new piece, however, is expected to be on display much longer – several years – as it wears down with natural decay.

Earlier this year, Howard Park released West Australia’s first augmented reality wine label on their Petit Jeté NV, creating an interactive wine drinking experience for sparkling lovers. Simply by scanning your bottle of sparkling with your phone, drinkers are taken on a journey through the winemaking process and our in-house traditional champagne method through an utterly moving short film.

Adding to the accolades, Howard Park’s Winemaker, Janice Mcdonald was this year named Gourmet Traveller’s Winemaker of the Year 2018 – Australia’s highest wine prize. Peter Forrestal, Gourmet Traveller writer and wine critic, had this to say about Janice: “Janice McDonald is an astounding winemaker: demanding of herself and others; rigorous; painstaking in her attention to detail.”

Loving everything about this? Read more about their exclusive private wine tasting experience in the Howard Park Wine Chapel, a mecca for wine worship open only by appointment.

Janice McDonald

Looking for more wine tasting inspo? Check out our Wine Tasting Weekender – Halliday’s picks and our local tips!

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