We’re at the age where we still don’t know many people with kids, so we’re going to talk about The Enchanted Forest outside of Revelstoke, British Columbia for a different point of view. Sure it’s fun for all ages and focuses primarily on fairy tale characters, but it’s also a rare look into a complete oeuvre of a devoted folk artist.
Bear with us here (haha). The Enchanted Forest first started out as a passion project back in the 1950s. A woman from Revelstoke by the name of Doris Needham decided that she needed a spot to put her hand-crafted (no moulds!) cement sculptures. So, she and her husband leased 40 acres of crown land outside of town and got to work.
You’re probably thinking ‘Hold on, cement? That’s not folksy’. Well, that’s neither here nor there, but we think there are a few reasons to treat it as such. First off, the sculptures can be seen as decorations, with the scope being a forest instead of a house. Second, the method used to create the sculptures suggests the artist was self-taught and worked in isolation. And third, the ‘lore’ conveyed through the objects references the birth of modern pop culture, Disney aesthetic and all.
Doris and her husband sold the property way back in the 70s, after creating over 350 different sculptures. Thankfully, the new owners have taken care to preserve the original spirit of The Enchanted Forest. There might be a few fresh coats of paint here and there (bad for resale), but other than that this is a rare look into the mind of a devoted artist who spent 10-odd years creating it. It’s no Park Guëll, sure, but we’re still very impressed.
And we’re impressed with you for putting up with our rant for this long! At least next time you pass by The Enchanted Forest you’ll have a better reason for visiting that ‘Ooh cool look a dragon’, which would have sold us anyway.
Where: 7060 Trans-Canada Hwy, Revelstoke, BC