Fleurieu Living Magazine – April 2019

(Jacob Rumans) #1

Karl Meyer is an artist and designer

specialising in public art. He originally

studied industrial design in Adelaide

before discovering a more creative outlet

through exhibition design. It was here that

Karl found a rewarding niche.

‘It is everything from idea through to the concept – then you move
into digital and mechanical and physical but there is also psychology
and it is all about conveyance of ideas,’ he says.

Soon Karl wanted to branch out further and so moved into public art

  • since 2009 he has had a very successful track record, completing
    numerous installations around Australia, including in Adelaide, Bondi,
    Mount Gambier, Townsville and Canberra.

In 1999, Karl and his partner bought a heritage listed property
in Parawa. Their first child was on the way and they had made a
conscious decision not to spend their ‘raising-a-family’ years in the
city. The advert for this stunning, yet hard to reach property had a
hand-drawn picture of a kangaroo and read, ‘if you want to own

a four-wheel-drive tractor and like hard work ...’ This piqued their
interest and they were drawn to it. ‘Even finding the gate initially was
a challenge,’ Karl says. For a few years they lived there part time
in a yurt purchased from Mongolia. They worked on the property
on weekends but with a third baby on the way, felt ready to move
there permanently, which they did in 2005. By then they had built a
beautiful home that was more family-friendly overlooking the valleys
and ocean below.
‘There is a remoteness but there is also connection,’ reflects Karl.
Their kids walk half a kilometre to get on a bus to school and the
shops are only twenty to thirty minutes away. The drive up is a bit
hairy but the rewards are great. Here the family lives very close to
nature and the elements. The house is, of course, off grid but they
live very comfortably with a large solar array, an orchard of fruit trees,
free-range chickens and a healthy vegetable garden.
The lifestyle in this pristine wilderness has proved fruitful in other
ways too. ‘Parawa and the Fleurieu provide considerable space for
contemplation in nature and the marine environment,’ Karl says. He
tells me he has always seen nature as being one of his best teachers
and it has inspired much of his work and philosophical viewpoint. >

Page left: ‘Foci’ 2018 – Sculpture by the Sea – Bondi. This page: ‘Tracks’ 2016 – Mount Gambier – The adaptive reuse of discarded railway tracks provides a connection to
Mount Gambier’s industrial past.

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