In São João dos Mellos, a rural district of Júlio de Castilhos in the central region of Rio Grande do Sul state, southern Brazil, the natural landscape draws attention to its rustic beauty. In this place, settled among mountains and fields, lies an uncommon collection of more than 200 stone statues and a few wooden sculptures, not to mention a giant stone Buddah: the place called Jardim das Esculturas (Sculpture Garden). Since 2004 the place has been making its way through beauty and originality. Rogério Bertoldo, the man behind the statues, explains what is this project and how it has emerged as a touristic destination, gathering visitors from all over the world.
Interview personally done and translated by jonasscherer at Jardim das Esculturas’ facilities on September 30th in the district of São João dos Mellos, the city of Júlio de Castilhos – Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
Jonas Scherer: How have you become a sculptor?
Rogério: It started all of a sudden, when I was practicing martial arts. I started to make a little Buddha, in stone, at that time I was just starting to make some intaglios. Then I decided – after that Buddha – to start the Jardim (Garden). So I asked my family for permission, got a hatchet, some old chisels and even table knives. And then I started.