Our Story - the origin and evolution of Southern Forest Arts
Our story is constantly unfolding. We are an organisation dedicated to learning, growth and dreaming.
We have some constants - we have always turned to wild spaces (within Nature and within ourselves) for solace and inspiration.
We have many variables - we are always exploring new ways to connect with our many communities of interest.
The seed for Southern Forest Arts was sown in the midst of the major social, political and economic upheaval felt by the South West community of Northcliffe surrounding the 'old growth forest' debate compounded by the de-regulation of the dairy industry the turn of the millennium.
Within a few short years, the two main industries had almost collapsed. Instead of despair, a group of local artists and art-lovers came together to reimagine another future.
By combining our two key passions – our incredible natural environment and our creative people – in way that was relevant to our local experience and nationally unique, we launched our Understory Art & Nature Trail and Painted Tree Gallery in 2006 as part of our inaugural Southern Forest Arts Festival.
Since then we’ve refined our focus and expanded the reach of our impact.