'Molly' the Wombat
Malmsbury Gardens

Des, Carmel and Sam
Dhingra offered the sculpture
to the people of Malmsbury
through the Friends of MalmsburyGardens and
Environs who gratefully
accepted the gift.



Clients Comments

Des McKenna O.A.M – Woodcarver & Sculptor

A number of Gallery owners or directors wished to comment about Des's work.

Ingrid Tadich - (formerly) Manager Children’s Museum Melbourne writes:

“We are lucky enough to have two of Des’s sculptures in the Children’s gallery at the Melbourne Museum. They are so welcoming and friendly that children (and their parents) are drawn to hug and explore them by touching them, climbing on them and even talking to them. The wonderful colours and glow of the red gum timber Des has used provides a very evocative and organic presence to our modern building reminding us of the beauty of natural objects and the natural world. I am sure that the Whale and Echidna sculptures have become well loved characters within the Children’s gallery. Thank you Des for your wonderful creations and thank you to Sam Dhingra for these kind donations “


Peter Hayes, Principal, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Primary School Sunbury:
Extract of address given at the official unveiling 21 st November 2004.

“Today we acknowledge the 74 years of service of the Sisters of Saint Joseph to our school community. The testament given here today is a reflection of the significance the sisters played in so many lives during their primary school years and indeed into their adult lives.

A constant reminder for us of their presence is this lovely statue. It will be displayed proudly within our school as a reminder of the major role the Sisters of Saint Joseph played for so many years. A special thank you to talented local artist Des McKenna who has so skillfully created this piece for us. From our earliest discussions over Carmel’s cups of tea, it became apparent that Des’s skill, passion for his work and his strong Catholic faith were qualities that we required in the creation of such an important icon for our school. From an exquisite piece of Huon Pine, that took centuries to reach maturity before nature took its toll and it fell to the forest floor, we now see this beautiful statue before us today.
Thank you Des for sharing your giftedness so freely in creating a statue fitting to commemorate the role that the Sisters of Saint Joseph played in our school “


Gerry Horne, Co-owner, Beechworth Galleries, Beechworth:

"The Red Gum Eagle sculpture has just been sold to a very happy person who was greatly impressed with your vision and eye for detail. Your work is attracting a wide amount of interest and we anticipate further sales in the forthcoming tourist season. We are interested in viewing any new work you have to offer.


Stella Minahan, Formerly Chief Executive Officer, Metro! Craft Centre:

"One of the pleasures of owning a piece of work by Des McKenna is the wonderful tactile nature of his pieces. The urge to pick up and touch is irresistible. Each one has its own personality and demands to be noticed. The shy wombat revels in the patting by everyone who passes. The eagles are particularly engrossing. They stand proud, ever alert - emerging from the timber and ready to soar in flight."


Ted Mellor, Joint owner, Whale Bone Gallery, Port Fairy:

"The addition of Des McKenna's work to the Whale Bone Gallery has been of great value. Des's strong style, high degree of finish and high impact of both representative and abstract pieces give great "in gallery" appeal."


Catherine and Paul Fox, Owners of Fox’s Fine Australian Homewares in Bathurst NSW:

“Des McKenna’s sculptures seem alive – he has the knack of capturing motion.
To have one at home – and we do! – is to have the daily pleasure of a beautiful, vital, live, moving creature. The standard of Des’s very popular work is consistently high and this demonstrates his total commitment to quality and design. In short we love his work.”


Jayne and Peter Thomson, Owners of Oberon Wood Gallery, Oberon NSW:

“Des’s fresh approach to sculpting allows creativity, style and art to combine naturally.
Des makes the very most of what Mother Nature has to offer. Everyone should have a
Des McKenna original!”


Mirjam of Bleak House Sculpture Gardens, Malmsbury VIC:

“Des McKenna’s free flowing abstract work attracts the eye instantaneously through
its simplicity, refined use of the material and its natural shape. It is extremely tactile, well finished and detailed. Des’s use of material makes his work versatile for use in a variety
of settings.”


Louise Barling and Garry Broderick of the Old Post Office Gallery, Seymour VIC:

“Des is the creator of the carved Red Gum “Wombat” in the Melbourne City Central
Square – a much loved Melbourne icon – and also the creator of the majestic Red Gum “Whale” in the world renowned Melbourne Museum. Des has the ability to see within the timbers he uses and create an image that emerges from the natural shape of the often recycled timber. He also frequently carves limestone and other mediums.”

Back to Top