Near Fanny Bay on Vancouver Island is a conundrum. The woods have every marking of a tourist location, yet are without several of the most important. They are known by locals, not by Yelp or Google, and they tell one man’s story; a descent into madness, perhaps? Hover over the photos to read more!
The entrance is marked by tall trees with gorgeous moss.
At one point this property belonged to someone, who turned it into an alt-tourist location.
He is since deceased, but locally, his former property is known as the Wacky Woods.
His various art projects are attached to trees or not attached to anything at all.
The environmentalism is very real.
There’s nothing like this in the province I’m from.
Some of the sculptures see you before you see them.
Most of them are interactive and non-parasitic to the environment.
But most of them are political!
The writings and sculptures become edgier as you travel deeper into the woods.
The pictures look just as creepy as the vibe in the woods.
The items from civilization are actually products of nature, rejected by humans, and returned to nature.
Many of these pieces had additional pieces on the ground, that may have been apart of the structure at some time.
This is a harsh reminder that everything returns to the Earth, and the Earth reduces everything to nothing.
What happens before anything returns to the earth is beauty.
However, beauty is temporary.
The only remnant of civilization are the marks from a permanent pen. They are digitally retouched here, however, they will disappear in time.
Most of the structures were just the opposite; immortal. Is there anything closer to immortality than a rock on a stump?
The utility hardware siglans a strong environmentalist overtone.
None of this is surprising for a man who spent his life creating folk art in the woods.
TLDR; Environmentalism, conservation, antidisestablishmentarianism
(TLDR means too long, didn’t read).
Choosing what to edit and crop was more difficult than I thought.
I had a hard time deciding if I should change anything, but ultimately, I retouched, cropped, and changed some of the images into black and white.
It was really important to me to retouch the writing because someday these words will be lost.
Beauty exists only in temporality.
There is also a lot of beauty in this man’s slow descent into madness.
As the writings got darker, we saw more and more stones on logs.
Many things about this place are unnerving, but one of them is how closely the structures resemble actual utilities.
Yet these utilities will be around for longer than in some homes.
The only year I found written anywhere was “1999”.
Who’s to say how long this took?
I stopped taking as many photos near the end because my camera died, and then I saw a snake, of which I am phobic.
Do you recotnize this from the highway?
Two motifs on the same log: wooden books and a painted stone.
Dangling fish were another motif.
There were an endless amount of sculptures to look at.
I remained curious to see what each one contained.
This is a wooden church with an old-fashioned cash register inside. It does not get edgier than this.
I could not decide between the colour version of this image, or the black and white one.
I have no idea what kind of item these wheels came from.
This is another sculpture that saw me first. Unnerving.
This book, wedged in a tree, is one of the more interactive sculptures.
Stay posted for video content!
My camera died as soon as I found the only positive thing.
They got dark again quickly.
That wooden bread looks pretty realistic in black and white.
But first… let me take a selfie.
I dressed like a forest hippie for the occasion.
I turned around, and I saw a hardhat and a chainsaw in a tree and I thought, “that’s neat.”
This wheel was strikingly blue for being neglected for so long.
This was one of the creepier structures.
This was one of the longer writings.
Near the end of the forest, “no coal” became the strongest theme.
This is a home for a stone.
Here is a grim prediction from 1999.
“For you shall recieve your pie in the sky when you die.”
Nothing quite like the death motif.
The colour version of this image shows how red the apple is, but what’s lost is how striking the severed hand is. The motif I read here is environmentalism of the poor.
This rock, with “NOIS” written across it, was deeply embedded in the ground and barred. I read this as a powerful testament to a quiet life.
It’s hard to imagine sculptures like this ever succumbing to the earth.
I wonder how long these creepy statues will last.
“Coal creates dying towns”
Take a penny, leave a penny?
The end of the forest contained a lot of graves, none of which I photographed. Dog graves, mostly. Human graves, probably not.