Sculptures deep in the forest

A sculpture trail with a difference

Deb’s World Blog – May 29, 2024


Set deep in the Bago State Forest, near Tumbarumba, is a wonderful world of creativity and nature, working together to create something very special.

The Sculpture Forest within Bago State Forest is a unique cultural tourism offering, forming part of the Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail.

With 13 sculptures (and more to be added over time) spread across Pilot Hill Arboretum, Alpine Ash Walk and the Sugar Pines visitor area, the Bago Sculpture Forest offers visitors interpretations of the natural world in situ, via the artistic contributions of local, national & international artists.

The Bago Sculpture Forest is the result of a partnership between Forestry Corporation, Sculpture by the Sea and the local community, in response to the Black Summer fires of 2019-20 which had a significant impact on the region. Source

Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail

Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail Map

This trail has become a big attraction for people travelling through our area, both domestic and international tourists. As we live here in Tumbarumba we can visit anytime we like!!

Although having said that, we hadn’t been to see the new installations at Pilot Hill, so with our daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren visiting for a long weekend we took the opportunity of a beautiful autumn day, to head into the forest for a picnic and a wander through the trees to see what we could find.

We had the whole place to ourselves, had a leisurely picnic lunch then went for a wander. It was a sunny cool 13 degrees, in the forest out of the sunshine the temperature dropped but we didn’t let that bother us.

The grandkids aged 3 and 5 danced along the trail, picking up sticks, marvelling at the huge trees and excitedly exploring the various sculptures we came to.

Alpine Ash Sculpture Walk
Alpine Ash Sculpture Walk

Destined to become a world class sculpture collection The Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail is a sculpture collection connected by the historic towns of Adelong, Batlow, Talbingo, Tumbarumba, the hamlet of Tooma and the vineyards of Courabyra Wines, Johansen Wines and Obsession Wines, and now with the latest addition of the Sculpture Forest. Source

Over the past 30+ years of living in this area we have been to Pilot Hill Arboretum many times. In the early years we would go with a group of friends for picnics with our young children and some of us would ride our bikes back to town through the forest trails, mainly downhill by the time we’d driven up to Pilot Hill (we weren’t silly).

Then came the years of older kids and mountain bike rides through the area, hikes and more picnics. The area was almost lost in the Black Summer bushfires of 2019/20 (we lost the magnificent Sugar Pine Walk) and it became a place of interest when the Forestry installed the Sky Seat and Sound Pod plus a Nature Wellness Walk, followed by the sculpture trail.

Today I’m featuring a few of my favourite sculptures in the forest as Part 1 and I’ll finish up with Part 2 for next week’s #wwwhimsy post.

‘Transporter’ by Dale Mills (NSW Australia)

This one was fabulous, so clever and hard to get my head around!

The ‘Transporter’ sculpture, as shown below in my photos, is an exploration into the fascinating visual tricks found in relief sculpture that allow the viewer to exist in normally inaccessible spaces to perceive the mechanics of the illusion. (As described on Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail Facebook page).

'Transporter 'by Dale Miles - so clever

This looks amazing as you approach it, you wonder how it has been done – so very clever!

Trying to climb into the house 'Transporter' and sunlight

I love the shaft of sunlight on this one. Emilia is trying to climb into the house!

Transporter by Dale Miles

Another view of this incredible work of art!

‘Contemplation’ by Steinunn Thorarinsdottir (Iceland)

This man was just standing there as we walked along the trail and we got a bit of a surprise to see him contemplating us!

Emilia and I decided to stand with him!

Seated Man by Sean Henry (UK)

We’d been told about the Seated Man and I’d seen lots of photos of him with children sitting on his shoulders, or deep in conversation with friends, but it was still a shock to see him just sitting there in the open. My daughter actually asked if he was real!

Seated Man by Sean Henry - he looks real when you first notice him!
Seated Man by Sean Henry – he looks real when you first notice him!

As you can see there’s a lot of variety in these sculptures and as the forest grows up around them it will be interesting to see how they weather.

I’m a huge fan – how about you?

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