Jim Sauer doesn’t consider himself an artist — more someone who enjoys making people smile.
His sculptures aren’t created with stone or clay, but rusted-out machinery that defy gravity.
“I started off with the old Daihatsu ute, which I used to run about with, and it was rusting away in the grass over behind the shed and I thought, ‘I could do something with that.
That was three years ago and Mr Sauer has since accumulated 15 pieces including cars, trucks, a plane, a boat, and bikes.
He has a knack for finding the discarded machinery, and after working on them he hoists them atop the old power poles lining his South Kolan property, 20 kilometres west of Bundaberg.
Mr Sauer said he never expected much attention for his “row of machinery” in an out-of-the-way spot down a no-through rural road.
He said somebody added the “attraction” to Google Maps and word of mouth had continued to grow, with people from all over the world stopping by to marvel at the machinery madness.
“All sorts have come from all over Australia and New Zealand. I’ve even had a young couple from Russia and the Netherlands.
There’s a tall tale for every pole
At 83, Mr Sauer doesn’t show his age as he jumps in and out of his much-loved excavator.
But he walks slowly to show off his most recent and largest installation — the bulldozer.
“I had a few friends that just shook their heads when I told them about it.
He found the bulldozer in a nearby paddock, bought it, and towed it home with his excavator.
Because of its size, Mr Sauer built a dirt ramp to tow the bulldozer into place on its stilted frame of six old power poles, with horizontal tracks as a supportive brace.
It’s the 15th piece in the collection that harnesses Mr Sauer’s subtle but cheeky sense of humour.
And there’s a story that accompanies each piece that sits along his property’s boundary.
There’s the “bandwagon” — a truck with two pianos, drums, and a guitar in the back — that he hoped would lure an international singing star to the tiny rural town.
“When Elton John was in Australia I offered it to him for a concert but he declined,” Mr Sauer said.
He points out the “person” inside the outhouse.
“They use them for garden ornaments, so I happened to build that one myself and it turned out alright.”
And beneath a rickety, old ute without its front tyre is a nod to country singer Kenny Rogers in the form of a sign made from an old pallet: “You picked a fine time to leave me loose wheel.”
Mr Sauer’s made some uncanny discoveries over the years — finding the boat in a recycle shop, and rebuilding a light plane from a dismantled mess where it had sat in a shed for 20 years.
But there’s one piece he’s still searching for to complete the collection.
The Post Visitors marvel at gravity-defying vehicles along Jim Sauer’s Row of Machinery at South Kolan Originally Posted on amp.abc.net.au