Forest Sculpture Gallery


The National Arboretum Canberra is a unique place for visitors to explore art, nature and unrivalled views across Canberra - all within a 6km distance of the CBD.

The Forest Sculpture Gallery is a well-established world class, free collection of five iconic sculptures by four significant artists set among the trees at the National Arboretum Canberra. Visitors are encouraged to take a leisurely walk or drive to see the sculptures located at scenic lookouts around the National Arboretum with sweeping views across Canberra.

Sculpture walks

A leisurely walk through four forests to Dairy Farmers Hill lookout will reward you with the iconic ‘Nest 111’ sculpture by Richard Moffatt set against magnificent panoramic views. Allow 40 minutes for a 1.6km return walk from the Village Centre or one hour to complete the 2km Dairy Farmers Hill circuit. Short on time? You can park the car at the Dairy Farmers Hill carpark and take the accessible sealed path.

‘A backwards attitude’ by Lois Pratt is a three-minute stroll from the Village Centre through the Mesa oak forest and can be also viewed as you drive along the Forest Drive tourist circuit. Continue the forest path to access the larger than life ‘wide brown land’ sculpture by Marcus Tatton/Chris Viney located next to the Himalayan cedar forest. Allow one hour to complete the 2.2km circuit. No time to walk? No problems, park at the Himalayan cedar car park.

‘Breezing in Canberra’ and ‘In the Stream’ sculptures by acclaimed Japanese artist Kozo Nishino can be accessed by walking along the bicentennial trail or by cycling along River Road. This 4.5 km return trail will take you through ten forests.

You can take self-guided tour by using the map of the Arboretum or join a sculpture themed walking tour hosted by our friendly volunteer guides. Visit the what we offer page to find out when the next sculpture walk is on.

News

The National Arboretum Canberra is building 12km of new walking trails which will open in September 2019 and the Forest Sculpture Gallery collection will be extended along these trails. We welcome inquiries from artists, donors and organisations about how your work can be added to the collection. The trails are due to be complete by September 2019.

Support us

The National Arboretum will shortly establish a Forest Sculpture Gallery Advisory Committee which will form business practices including collection acquisition nd maintenance polices.

For all enquiries please contact the Forest Sculpture Gallery Manager Scott Saddler at forest.sculpture@act.gov.au.

Contact details:

Email: Forest.sculpture@act.gov.au
Phone: 02 6207 8484

Forest Sculpture Gallery, National Arboretum Canberra, Forest Drive Road, Off Tuggeranong Parkway, Weston Creek, ACT 2611. PO Box 158, Canberra City, ACT 2601.

FSG Opening hours:

6am to 8.30pm (daylight savings)
7am to 5.30pm (EST time)

The Forest Sculpture Gallery collection

'Nest III' sculpture on Dairy Farmers Hill

Nest by Michelle TaylorDaytime NestWinter dawn NestNest at night

A striking metal sculpture of an Australian wedge tail eagle on its nest, Nest III is made from welded steel found-objects, mostly abandoned farm machinery. The sculpture was created by Richard Moffatt in 2007 and sits at the top of Dairy Farmers Hill.

A Backwards Attitude 2014

Backwards attitude sculpture

By Lois Pratt

Cold cast aluminium, steel and fibreglass

180cm H x 102cm W x 287cm D. 2 x life size.

A backwards attitude acknowledges a post-digital and Enlightenment age where information is everywhere and the correct course of action is clear, but an attitude of rejection thwarts it.

Through his work, Pratt emphasises that we are at a pivotal point in history in terms of technology and its effects on our lives, and we need to recognise the effect technology has on our lives. His work asserts that the entire world is available for digital consumption.

Social issues pervade Louis’ work, he sees his art as a mirror reflecting where we are socially and historically. Sometimes the tone is reproachful but mostly his art examines the contemporary world with a sense of its beauty.

Pratt’s uses a 3D scanner to convert everyday objects into digital forms. He then manipulates the scanned data with algorithms and other tools. The next stage is to rapid prototype (a type of 3D printing) the reconfigured digital forms back into tangible objects and shapes.

Louis Pratt’s works are recognised in numerous private and public collections. Most recently, Pratt was the winner of 2016 Tom Bass Figurative Sculpture award 2016 and the 2016 environmental award Sculpture on the Edge. In 2015 Pratt’s sculptures were represented in every major sculpture award in Australia, including the Wynne and Sculpture By The Sea.

'Wide Brown Land' sculpture near the Himalayan cedar forest

Wide Brown LandMichelle Taylor photoFamily picnicWBL in snow

The three words in the 'wide brown land' sculpture come from the famous poem 'My Country', written by poet Dorothea Mackellar when she was 22 years old, living in England and terribly homesick for Australia.

First published in London in 1908, 'My Country' quickly became one of Australia's most loved poems, a status it still holds more than a century later.

In 2017, Mackellar became the first female writer honoured on UNESCO's Australian Memory of the World Register when UNESCO included the manuscript of 'My Country' in the Register of Australian Literature. The manuscript of My Country is on public display at the State Library of NSW.

The sculpture's form and style were inspired by Mackellar's handwriting. 'Wide brown land' is 35 metres long and 3 metres high, made from corten steel and steel rod by Marcus Tatton, Futago Design Studios and Chris Viney in 2010.

Many Australians are familiar with the second verse of the poem which includes the well known phrase "The wide brown land for me!"

"The love of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded lanes.
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins,
Strong love of grey-blue distance
Brown streams and soft dim skies
I know but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror -
The wide brown land for me!"

Mackellar was born in Sydney's Point Piper in 1885 and died in Sydney in 1968. To learn more about Dorothea Mackellar and her poetry, visit the website.

'Breezing in Canberra' sculpture near Tuggeranong Parkway

Breezing sculptureBreezing-in-CBR

'Breezing in Canberra' sculpture, by Kozo Nishino, resembles a bird moving in the air and stands seven metres tall, close to Tuggeranong Parkway. The two Nishino sculptures, 'Breezing in Canberra' and 'In the Stream', are designed to be seen together, reflecting and complementing each other.

Made of titanium, stainless steel and iron, 'Breezing in Canberra' possesses a surprisingly intricate and skeletal steel wire structure, and moves smoothly, reacting to natural movements of the air as if it were a living thing. Kozo Nishino explains:

"I want to create something that evokes air and wind. I would like my sculptures to exist as expressions of the lives we humans live cradled by this atmosphere." More of the artist's statement.

The artist, Mr Kozo Nishino, is a leading figure in large-scale metal sculpture who has received international acclaim for his public art pieces. More about Kozo Nishino.

Breezing in Canberra' was commissioned by artsACT.

'In the Stream' sculpture in Forest 79

In the StreamSculpture in workshop

'In the Stream' sculpture, by Kozo Nishino, is an abstract design and stands 12 metres tall, set back from Tuggeranong Parkway within the forests. The two Nishino sculptures, 'In the Stream' and 'Breezing in Canberra' are designed to be seen together, reflecting and complementing each other.

Made of titanium, stainless steel and iron, 'In the Stream' possesses a surprisingly intricate and skeletal steel wire structure, and moves smoothly, reacting to natural movements of the air as if it were a living thing. Kozo Nishino explains:

"I want to create something that evokes air and wind. I would like my sculptures to exist as expressions of the lives we humans live cradled by this atmosphere." More of the artist's statement.

The artist, Mr Kozo Nishino, is a leading figure in large-scale metal sculpture who has received international acclaim for his public art pieces. More about Kozo Nishino.

'In the Stream' was commissioned by artsACT.