Sunday Evening Reflection: Acoustic Anvil: A Small Weight to Forge the Sea

“Nothing endures but change.”
Heraclitus

Acoustic Anvil: A Small Weight to Forge the Sea

Every city has its legends and histories. One of Vancouver’s legends happened in Leg-in-Boot Square, Vancouver 1887, when a human leg still strapped in a boot was reported to the local constabulary.

July 2018, the “Acoustic Anvil: A Small Weight to Forge the Sea” gave a hearty nod to Leg-in-Boot square, a historic centre of industry, forges, boat building and stevedores. Maskull Lasserre’s massive sculpture, Acoustic Anvil: A Small Weight to Forge the Sea, with measurements of approximately three-by-eight-metres, celebrated False Creek’s industrial era.

Art remembers our stories, long after they have been hidden in the folds of history.

July 2020, the Acoustic Anvil has been removed from Leg-in-Boot Square.  I walk past the open space and felt a sense of destiny, for we live in a state of impermanence.  Life moves forward and change comes. Sometimes in small incremental strides, barely noticeable. Other times, with the strength of a hurricane.  We are defined by how we embrace the ephemeral nature of being. 

Our lives are a combination of story and art.  With every experience we deepen our story and add vibrancy and colour to our masterpiece.

We are the keepers of our stories, adding to narrative of history.

33 Comments Add yours

  1. cindy knoke says:

    I love the stories of your life Rebecca.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Clanmother says:

      And I love that you share your stories with us. We have an amazing virtual community!!! Many hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Splendid! some lovely rusty shades there.

    Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.

    ✨☀️🙏🕉️♾️☮️🙏☀️✨

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Thank you for that great quote. I have a feeling that this axiom is found in every language. c’est la vie. I loved the changing colours of rust and yellow. When I passed on my way to Granville Market, I would stop by and hear the sound of the wind through the musical notation. There was a photo of the anvil prior to being painted. Even then, the metal featured shifting colours. Thank you for your visit and comments – very much appreciated.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. My lord, that is a giant anvil. A grand sight to see and the music is beautifully uplifting. As are your words, ‘I walk past the open space and felt a sense of destiny, for we live in a state of impermanence.’

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I am so glad that you enjoyed the walk on the Vancouver Seawall. I have always been fascinated by location and history. When a building is torn down to be replaced by something modern we no longer remember the first building. Locations are transformed through the years – one building replaced by another, a street widened, new stores and markets are established… Every step we take, someone walked there before us. If only the earth could speak. That is why I am so grateful for writers, Shehanne. You find the stories and bring them to life. Hugs coming your way!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You know re change, you are so right. I felt sad thinking they did WHAT??? Took it down? Then I saw how you described that and thought… WOW. And there, you’ve said it again but differently.and it’s right. Nothing lasts forever, change is all around, or we’d all still be living in caves on the shore. x

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Clanmother says:

        I am imagining the decorating magazines “Cave Home & House”. “Traditional Home”. “Modern Cave”

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Dave Astor says:

    Loved the eloquence of this post, Rebecca, and of course the images. 🙂

    Seeing the great/ironic Heraclitus quote “Nothing endures but change” makes me wonder if it inspired this line in Rush’s “Tom Sawyer” song: “He knows changes aren’t permanent, but change is.” The Canadian band’s late lyricist (and drummer) Neil Peart was a voracious reader.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Thank you Dave for your heartwarming comments. Now, you have me going on another search to find the background on “Tom Sawyer.” Books open so many doors to creativity. One word, one thought that is found in a book finds its way into other creative efforts. Oh, what an excellent discussion this would make!!!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. The square must feel so empty without the anvil. I hope it was moved to a permanent location and not destroyed. In the video, I particuarly like how to celebrate the patterns and imperfections in the surface of the metal.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Alas, I knew the day would come when the Anvil would be moved to a new location. But I was still shocked when the change came. I am on a treasure hunt to find out its new home. Still looking and will report back! What I appreciated most was to be able to touch the rough surface and feel the changes in colour patterns. So glad you joined me on this retrospective!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Ms Frances says:

    Thank you for this piece of history. This was new to me, strange really since I have lived in Vancouver for a long time. I did not know about finding the leg in boot, or perhaps forgot the story. Now the huge Anvil is gone from its place and the place looks very empty. I wonder where the huge sculpture is now! ! !

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      The backstory on street names is a most interesting research project. What was known by a previous generation is lost in the years following, or may take on new meaning. Everything changes, even the storylines. I have no idea where the Anvil is now and I have been looking! The search is still on. Stay tuned….

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Ms Frances says:

        💕🦋🌿🥀I will wait-patiently(?) for your research. You are better at it than I! !💕🌹🌹🌺💕

        Liked by 3 people

  7. Annika Perry says:

    Rebecca, it must feel empty in the square without this statue! It looks an impressive piece, hearkening back to the roots of the area and how true that we add to our story throughout our lives in so many ways!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I knew it wouldn’t be forever, but I was still shocked by the empty square, Annika. I’m trying to find out where they have taken the sculpture, but so far I’m still in the investigation stage. I know that wherever the anvil goes, it will be a source of discussion, exploration and reflection. We are part of the past. And as you said so eloquently, “we add to our story throughout our lives in so many ways.”

      Liked by 2 people

  8. How sad that this piece of history has been removed. It looked to have been weathering very well. It must have weighed quite a lot too. 😳

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I am on the hunt for the Anvil. It was moved this month so it can’t be far away. Art is a remarkable conduit that links different time periods and cultures. It was massive and had to be brought in by a crane. It was a big production. There is another art installation coming this year that involved the Cambie Bridge. It looks like a massive undertaking. More information coming

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Well, as the old proverb says, “A change is as good as a rest.” 😃

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Clanmother says:

        I love that proverb. It reminds me of your mother’s thought “this too shall pass” which I have kept close to my heart during these uncertain days.

        Liked by 2 people

  9. J.D. Riso says:

    It seems like a gaping void without that anvil. Your city has such a rich and varied history.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      There is so much about Vancouver’s history that I don’t know and I am enjoying looking into the past from Gold Rush days to the Railway that spanned Canada. When we first moved to Vancouver, much of this area was in renewal. Expo 86, showcased Vancouver as did the 2010 Winter Olympic. Vancouver frequently ranks highly as one of the world’s most livable cities, because we are surrounded by mountains, close to nature and have a high walkable score. The caveat is the high cost of living, especially the cost of housing. I am heartened by Vancouver’s goal to create affordable housing and a sustainable living environment. So glad you joined me on this retrospective.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Jean-Jacques says:

    Alas some changes never do pass, though physically they may be moved or shuffled around to have us believe they do, but truly worthy creations or happenings, like your magnificent anvil remain, at the very least in our hearts and minds. No doubt will remain among the other treasures you have accumulated over time. Still… always triste… to loose sight of things beautiful, but age has a way of teaching us that there is no such things as absolute permanence! In the meantime I share your sense of loss, dear Rebecca!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Ah, Jean-Jacques, you have a poetic simplicity in your words. So well said “age has a way of teaching us that there is no such things as absolute permanence!” Loss is a part of life – this is an axiom. Those words are said easily, but the reality is difficult. May we never lose our enthusiasm for seeking the beautiful things in our lives. Many thanks for adding your insights and wisdom.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Mary Jo Malo says:

    What a fascinating sculpture, Rebecca! The arts scene in Vancouver is so vibrant. Here’s a YouTube video to complement this wonderful story. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKIS5m3y55w I too now wonder where the exhibition has moved. It would be a perfect fit for the Milwaukee Art Museum which is a nautical architecture in itself. Please let us know when you find it!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I LOVE this video! Thank you so much for adding this to the discussion. I remember the day it was delivered, but I missed the actual delivery. I am fascinated by how a city embraces creative endeavours, from mural festivals, writer festivals, public art. Even more telling is the city planning and architecture such as the Milwaukee Art Museum. What an amazing building. https://mam.org/info/architecture.php. I am still looking for the Anvil’s next location.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Sarah Ahmadi says:

    Dear Rebecca! You amaze me with your eloquence! Particularly: “We are defined by how we embrace the ephemeral nature of being.” At first, one is struck by the sadness that comes from loss … however, without change we don’t learn and grow. So, perhaps, letting go – and remembering the past through story artists like yourself — gives us the opportunity to experience the new while still honouring our history.

    Two other things struck me … do you think that they removed the anvil because of COVID? It seems that a lot of things that we can touch and feel are disappearing from public places. Also — I’m intrigued by the story of the leg in the boot found… there are the mysteries of the lone feet that have washed up along the coastline on the Island and mainland? Related? I’m sure that there is a great mystery story to be written there!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Dear Sarah, I love YOUR eloquence. Well said. Letting go does give us the opportunity to experience the new while still honoring our history. And the history/legend of Leg-in-Boot Square lives on in the name. I did not know about the lone feet that have washed up along the coastline. YIKES! Alas, the Anvil was not a permanent installation – only two years for the 2018 -2020 Biennale. But art lives on. Today, is the first day of the 2020 Vancouver Mural Festival so I’ll be on the look out for the incoming murals. And there is a huge Biennale project scheduled for Cambie Bridge. I’m going to follow its progress! Stay tuned. Looking forward to our next coffee!

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Carolyn Page says:

    I tried recently, Rebecca, to leave a comment regarding the Acoustic Anvil, however, try as I may the window would not ‘post’. I’ll have another try!
    I do believe that someone had quite a sense of humour placing the sculpture in ‘Leg-in-Boot Square’. I’d have loved to be on the council deciding that one! And yet, because of the history of the area this was the most appropriate place, indeed.
    Is that your striking figure with white hat before the sculpture?
    And, once again your video and accompanying music was/is delightful.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Your message came through!!! Thank you!!! I laughed at the comment about the council deciding on this one. Would love to have been in that meeting!!! The figure is not me. The interesting thing about taking photos is that sometimes I snap a photo looking at the horizon without paying attention to the foreground. It is only after, when I look through the photos, that I realize I accidentally took a great photo. I love when the universe and serendipity come together. And I love the hat!!! So glad you joined me on the Vancouver Seawall.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. Resa says:

    Very neat, Rebecca, but why did they take the Acoustic Anvil away?
    I know I cover street art, as it is quite ephemeral, but a big anvil like that? Anvils don’t feel that ephemeral, but here is one gone.
    Well, you’ve recorded it for posterity. Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I have a feeling that the Anvil is on a journey to another location, although I have found that location as yet. This was for the 2018 – 2020 biennale, so it didn’t come as a surprise. But I still feel the loss. It is a reminder that what is here now must be experienced and celebrated. I am now looking at a mural that is on a building that looks like it will be under development soon. I am heading over to take photos. I love following you on your “mural treasure hunts.”

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to Annika Perry Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.