Local volunteers constructed the trail, wielding shovels, rakes, GPS’, tape measures and wheelbarrows. The assistance of the Ministry of Justice (through the Walpole Prison Work Crew) and Work for the Dole scheme was appreciated. Our boardwalks were crafted by local builders, Ross Facius and Paul Owens.
Our first major round of artwork commissions commenced in early 2006 with WA artists, writers and musicians spending time together in Northcliffe to meet community members, explore the bush and local Pioneer Museum. It was important to us that they didn’t arrive with pre-conceived notions of what they would create in advance. We wanted their responses to be fresh, intuitive and intimately linked to place.
This initial weekend set the tone for all future commissions – artists visiting the site in person, to develop works that are site-specific.
Understory was officially opened by the Hon. Geoff Prosser (MP) and the Hon. Paul Omodei (MLA) on the 25th November 2006 as part of the inaugural Southern Forest Arts Festival.
The event was attended by approximately a thousand people from across the South West and Perth.
A range of artists, writers and musicians performed and/or spoke about their work.
Finally, the committee and a huge contingent of volunteers were able to celebrate this acheivement of ‘shared community vision’ and partnership.