Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world.
I am a photographer, writer and multi-media artist. Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.



Monday, 17 May 2021

A walk in the Northcliffe Forest - Understory art trail

 Hi everyone, I hope you are all safe and well. We are just back from a few days of "forest bathing" - walking in the forest. 

We managed to organise a few days away in Northcliffe, located deep in our south west karri forests. It was so lovely to get away, slow down, and walk in the forests. Karri trees, one of my favourite native trees. 

The name ‘karri’ is the Aboriginal word for the Eucalyptus Diversicolor. Karri is Western Australia’s tallest tree and one of the tallest hardwood trees in the world. The tree reaches its peak height within a hundred years. The tree can grow up to 80m. You can learn more here: Margaret River Vista.com

We arrived in Northcliffe after lunch, and in the afternoon we went to the Northclliffe Visitor Centre to pick up some information and to visit the Understory art and nature trail which starts at the back of the Visitor Centre. 

Inspired by nature and created by local, state, national and international artists, the easy 1.2km walk meanders through the forest. The project was initiated by local artists and launched in 2006 and continually evolves with new pieces being added. 

Allow at least an hour for the walk which closes at 4pm. A small payable fee goes to the local non-profit Art community. 

While some pieces you will love, and others will have you going mmm..???... they will all leave you something to think about. 

It is recommended you follow the trail in an anti-clockwise direction. Collect a map from the Visitor Centre. 

The entry statement and trailhead was created by Torbay (WA) artist Kevin Draper. 

The first piece on the trail is Wishing Wheels by Denmark (WA) artist Peter Keelan. Created from assorted recyled materials including oxygen and gas cylinders, steel, bamboo, ball bearings, stub axles, street signs and pressed tin. You are invited to turn the wheels and listen. Resulting from community workshops, they reminded me of prayer wheels. 

Hopefully you can play this video below here....

This post would be too long to show you all the pieces individually, but I will show you just a few of my favourites.  You can see more about the arts and artists on their website and Facebook page.

Feature throughout the trail are a series of portraits by Kim Perrier from Bridgetown (WA) entitled Rising from the Ashes. The series commemorates the catastrophic Northcliffe bushfire in the summer of 2015. It acknowledges the trauma, loss, and resilience of the community and acknowledges the assistance of hundreds of people from across Australia who helped fight the fires. 

Over 40 local residents where cast in plaster and then the faces created with charcoal and glue. As you look about along the walk you will see them in the forest. 

Another of my favourites was Bower created with found sticks by Perth (WA) artist Gemma Wood. You can see a video of Gemma talking about her work on Facebook here - Gemma Wood - Understory 

There are a series of five stone benches and sculptures entitled Forest Stones created by Albany (WA) artist Kati Thamo, representing forest creatures. 

A giant suspended halo of steel, karri sticks and wire around a Karri tree was created by Perth artist Lorenna Grant (WA), entitled Whole, You Were Meant to Be Here. 

I did enjoy this Cascading Rain Shelter by Perth (WA) artist Tony Pankiw, but I don't think I would want to be out here in the rain to see it in operation. 

I think my favourite is Sundew by Perth (WA) artist Natalie Williamson. Created with metal pipes, steel roads, laser cut steel, glass nuggets, silicon and glass enamel paint in 2006, it is based on the tiny delicate native sundew flowers and towers through the trees. Beneath the images of the sculpture, I have shared a photo of a sundew which I took locally. 

One art work that disturbed me a little was Treecycled by Denmark artist (WA) Cecile Williams. Books have been nailed to a fallen log and are slowly decaying.
But then today I found this from Cecile on Facebook, which puts a new light for me onto this piece. @ Facebook.com/UnderstoryArtinNature then scroll down to 12 May 2019. 

"A small collection of old hardcover books was left to me and became the inspiration for this work. These books bring a new skin, bark, and a wisdom back to this unique old tree. It has fallen, yet it still stands strong, carrying the weight of time on its back. The written word, the book titles, the colours all weave a new story back into this site. In time, the weather and nature will come to play their part in this continuing cycle, with moss forming a new skin, regrowth, and moisture interacting with the pages, swelling them and urging them to ‘open out’ and slowly decompose their stories back into the earth. This was their origin, and now they’ve come home."

Another interesting piece was Nature II by Perth (WA) artist Graham Hay, returning 20,000 pages of mostly unread Government reports to the forest, where they have been impregnated with native scarlet bracken fungus spores. Interesting use for Government reports! 

During spring the forest would be a mass of wildflowers, but in autumn when we visited only a few of the swamp bottlebrush were flowering. 

However any time of year lends its own beauty to the Southern Forests Understory art and nature trail and your experiencing of "bathing in the forest". 

We stayed at Around-tu-it caravan park nestled in forest on the edge of town. Although a little "rustic" and tired, we enjoyed the quietness of the lovely forest situation and the handy location close to town. We had perfect weather for bush trail walking. 

There are a number of forest walks in the area, including parts of the 1000km Bibbulmun walking track and the Munda Biddi bike track from Perth to Albany.
The 48km loop Great Forest Trees Drive winds through the karri forest.  I'll be back another time with some of the trails we did. 

For more information:

You might also like:

Where the forest meets the sea - Denmark, WA

Deep in the Boranup Karri forest, WA

Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed this look at Northcliffe's forest art trial. Do you have an art trail you like to visit. Perhaps you would like to tell us about it in your comments. 

 I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week. 

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!
All Seasons
MosaicMonday at Letting Go of the Bay Leaf
Sharon's Sovenirs 
Our World Tuesday

Pictorial Tuesday 
ThroughMy Lens 
My corner of the world through my camera 
Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global hosted by Randomosity. 
       and Little bird - Pienilintu
Thankful Thursday 
The Lovin' Life Team over at: Deep Fried Fruit
 Month end link up @ Live love craft me
Hello there! I love reading your comments. If you scroll down to the bottom you can comment too! I would love to hear from you.


  1. WOW! You do a lot more walking than we do but we also love to get out in the forest and go as often as we are physically able...almost every day. I've never seen beautiful art like this though. How intriguing! I think I can see faces in trees...but these really ARE! WOW...oh I said that!

  2. Those are some really interesting art pieces! I love places like this that combine nature and art; my two favorite things!

  3. Jill - the art is so diverse, and integrated (or not) into the surroundings in such interesting ways. I think my favorite is the Forest Stones, but I also deeply appreciated the piles of government reports as art AND recycling! Thanks for bringing some "culture" and sophistication to Mosaic Monday this week!

  4. What an interesting walk. Something different around every corner. Thanks for the video, sound being a very necessary part of that installation.

  5. Jill, how beautiful that forest bathing looks! I am reading a book that refers to forest bathing, had not heard of that description before. That part of WA is beautiful and I will put it on my list for our plan to visit there hopefully next year. We have seen a lot of WA but there is always something else to see so thanks for sharing.

  6. Jill, I just loved this walk! So much interesting art. Love the black ash faces in the trees, the books project is interesting. Thanks so much for sharing and have a great week! Sylvia D.

  7. While the wishing wheels look ugly to me, they would be fun to spin. What a delightful nature walk with lots of art to explore.

  8. What fabulously unique artworks!

  9. Thanks for taking us along on this walk. Such amazing artwork along the way, too.

    I appreciate your link at 'My Corner of the World' this week!

  10. I love the forest stones! It is so cool to have art mixed in a natural setting!

  11. It's a magical place and your photos make it look like something from a fairytale. You've reminded me that we must revisit and enjoy the quiet leafy surrounds with all the added creativity.


I hope you have enjoyed your visit to my blog. Thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to comment. I read and very much appreciate every comment and love hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return.