Sassafras Art Walk

Sassafras Art Walk banner.png

Title: Sassafras Art Walk
Artists: Peter Mcllwain and Renate Crow
Year: 2022
Location: Sassafras
Coordinates: View Map


On the School Track between Sassafras and Olinda, you will come across some artworks installed as part of Yarra Ranges Council’s Outdoor Activation program to celebrate the newly upgraded section of the Ridgewalk trail. Curated by Yarra Ranges Regional Museum, the artworks will be in place until September.

These artworks are installed on Wurundjeri Country and we acknowledge Elders past and present, and thank Wurundjeri Elders for their ongoing involvement in the RidgeWalk project.


Photos by: Laki Sideris

Pathmarker Birds

By Peter McIlwain

A series of geometric abstracted birds will accompany your walk along this section of RidgeWalk. Made from digitally designed modular components, the bas relief works investigate a modernist approach that incorporates stylised depictions of birds that have resonance with many artistic traditions. The works function as way-finders or markers along the path. The markers, like the local birds, offer small bursts of colour dotted along the track, contrasting the cathedral-like space formed by tall trees, and intervening the long sightlines of the steep slope.

Tawny Frogmouth

By Renate Crow

The artist is drawn to the Tawny Frogmouth for its presence in this area as well as in backyards all over Australia, in both urban and rural areas. They are accessible and endearing to us with their ‘antics of pretending to be a branch’. Perched upon a storm-felled Mountain Ash tree, the steel-framed sculpture’s outer feathering comprises woven locally sourced natural fibres. Walkers of RidgeWalk will be able to carefully sit inside the Tawny Frogmouth’s ‘belly’: a tiny sanctuary to take a moment to be still.

Meet the Artists

Peter McIlwain

Peter McIlwain has had a varied career as a commercial artist, a musician and composer and an academic, teaching and researching in music. His work is recognized for its imaginative innovation, technical skill and knowledge. More recently he has focused on visual work and has gained a local profile working in public art settings.

Renate Crow

Renate Crow is a socially-engaged artist who is continuously developing her relationship with local groups and schools through her sculptural-visual practice. Renate facilitates workshops and engages through events such as the Belgrave Lantern Parade. She is an avid beekeeper, gardener and cyclist. She aims to bring about deeper connectedness through her creative work.


Please note, parking is limited. Some spots are available on Mt Dandenong Tourist Road and on Mason Grove in Sassafras. Alternatively, please park in Sassafras village and walk to the beginning of the track.

It is a short, but steep, walk up the track to see the artworks and walking shoes are recommended.

Commission Details 

RidgeWalk is funded by the Australian Government, the Victorian Government and Yarra Ranges Council. These temporary artworks have been supported through Yarra Ranges Council’s Outdoor Activation Program.