The hidden art in a Winnipeg forest

By | August 20, 2020

WINNIPEG — One Winnipeg woodcarver is bringing a bit of folklore combined with some passion to life for you to find among the leaves in the Bois-des-Esprits Forest.

A short walk across the Royalwood Bridge just off St. Anne’s Road will bring you to pathways throughout the forest, which is filled with wildlife and a few hidden gems.

Forest art

Murray Watson is a wood artist and said the trees are blank canvases that hold an inner secret.

“I certainly didn’t invent the wood spirit, it’s kind of a universal symbol, it’s kind of like the old man, the watcher in the forest kind of thing,” said Watson.

Watson has been carving wood spirits into dead trees all over the 117-acre forest since 2009.

“I love wood, I love nature, so I’m kind of in my environment here, and then you get to talk to people walking by,” he said.

Forest art

Forest art

He added he was inspired by the artists who carved Woody the Tree Spirit in the forest, but it’s his passion that drives him.

“I have a love of nature and animals, and I like working with my hands,” Watson said.

Forest art

Forest art

Some carvings are easier to spot than others. Watson said he has done about 20 carvings, and after hearing from his fans, he has a plan for his next carving.

“I’m going to be introducing a female wood spirit into the forest,” he said.

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