…with a difference.

For years I’ve had a fascination with the rustic features of farms – from rusty sheds to old vehicles to meandering fence lines. Many of these things have featured in my paintings.

This weekend begins an “artform” of a different kind for me. I got hold of some old fence posts from a farm in Kendenup and will be constructing a rustic fence from them in our back yard. Then, when I sit out on the deck, I’ll be able to watch the wrens and robins flitting about the aged, lichen-covered timbers.

Here’s most of the posts I purchased. They don’t look like much in this arrangement but they have far more character than the treated pine or steel posts (star pickets) that are becoming commonplace these days.

Here’s a close-up some of the lichen that attracted my interest. This is the top of a strainer post, already notched ready to accept a top rail.

And here’s the first post in position. This is a corner post, it’s about 30cm (1ft) in diameter and there’s as much below ground as there is above ground. It’s about 2.1-2.4m (7-8ft) long in total. I’m only 1.6m (5’3″) tall so this post, as seen, comes to almost-shoulder height on me.

This is the biggest of all the posts – it weighs “a ton” and was a killer to move around on my own with nothing but a small sack trolley and some rope. It was an exercise in logistics, or insanity, to get it into the hole. I hadn’t anticipated the enormity of strainers and corner posts when I dreamt up this idea – I’d only thought about normal fence posts.

This new-old fence will replace the existing one that keeps our pet sheep out of the back yard, so it’s practical, it’s three-dimensional and, to me, it’s art! I’m not sure my back and shoulders will agree with me tomorrow – they’re already complaining.