The Big Picture
Giant reproduction of Vincent van Gogh's painting Sunflowers, Altona, Manitoba, March 28, 2001.
Douglas Neufville Taylor
Natural Forces and the sculptural work of Douglas Neufville Taylor come together in fabulous settings around British Columbia. Come visit a few of his marvelous masterworks in Vancouver and Victoria.
Artist Douglas Taylor on a cold and windy January 28, 2006, at The Gorge, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
Khenko, the fisher, is the Coast Salish mythical name for the Great Blue Heron. Douglas Taylor’s Khenko was installed in Vancouver during the summer of 2006 on the north shore of False Creek directly across from Granville Island and just east of the Granville Street Bridge off the tip of George Wainborn Park. Khenko's wings flap up and down, powered by wind catching in its pivoting sails. There are even a couple of fish in Khenko's tummy. Khenko was unveiled to the public September 13, 2006.
Wind Swimmer Giant Whirligig
The Giant Whirligig Wind Swimmer gently paddles into the wafting summer breeze high above the beautiful Kitsilano Pool, overlooking English Bay, Vancouver, British Columbia, July 9, 1999.
The first version of the swimmer was created in 1993 for an Artropolis installation in the waters of English Bay near Stanley Park's Second Beach but was destroyed by high seas after only one week in the chuk. The current Wind Swimmer, erected in 1996, is vastly sturdier, bigger, higher and in fact she is wearing a solid lead bathing suit. For extra safety in stormy weather the whirligig propeller folds flat like a prairie windmill.
Flight Of The Purple Martin Giant Purple Martin
Even on the stormiest January day in the grey pit of winter Douglas Taylor’s whimsical sculpture of the Purple Martin chasing a bug can cheer you right up. A plaque at the base of the wire frame Giant Purple Martin reads:
“The Flight Path of the Purple Martin Swallow. The Purple Martin is a beautiful songbird. This steely and iridescent blue-black bird spends its winters in the Amazon River basin. Each spring they fly on the edge of warm weather until faithfully returning to the backyards of their landlords, like those at Selkirk Waterfront who generously erected their nesting boxes.”
High tech fabricators and a team of engineers were required to render the spring from the artist’s model, and going from concept to successful final work was fraught with agonizing difficulty, Taylor noting, “Any one of these projects has the potential of being career ending.” The viewer sees none of this, only as Taylor says, “A continuously moving wind powered spring . . . clearly the metaphor embraces the risks involved in simply being alive, even if you’re a bug . . .” The Purple Martin was erected in December, 2004.
© 2021 Henri Robideau