IN (essence) by Veronica & Edwin Dam de Nogales

In(essence) Dam De Nogales Inc, Artists

In(essence) is a lasting reminder of the fragile beauty of nature, as the deer innocently lifts its head to the sky. With rich colours and elongated form, it creates a passageway symbolic of quiet living, of being one with the woods, of silent majestic encounters with wildlife, and of embracing a pause in time.

BOSA DEVELOPMENT Commissioned by Bosa Development in collaboration with the District of North Vancouver, 2020

North Vancouver, British Columbia is a vibrant city located on the North Shore of the Burrard Inlet, just across the water from Vancouver. Known for its stunning natural beauty, with lush forests, snow-capped mountains, and breathtaking views of the ocean, North Vancouver is home to several popular attractions, such as the Grouse Mountain Skyride, the Capilano Suspension Bridge, and the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge.  It is a go-to place for those who love to hike, bike and kayak. Its vibrant arts and culture scene, with numerous galleries, theatres, and performing arts venues creates a sense of community.

North Vancouver’s planning department is committed to enhancing the living spaces of its citizens through public art. By partnering with local artists, the department has been able to create a variety of vibrant and unique public art installations throughout the city. These installations range from sculptures to murals, which generates a colourful and inviting atmosphere in the city.  

This past week on a rare clear day in the midst of our weeks of rainfall, I joined my mother, Frances, and sister, Sarah, for coffee in the Lynn Valley neighbourhood of North Vancouver.   That was when I first met the deer statue, In(essence), standing regally, with its head lifted up to the blue sky. 

Towering above me at nearly six metres tall, I felt the serenity of nature enfold the space around me.  I paused and breathed deeply.  The words on the signage resonated: “It creates a passageway symbolic of quiet living, of being one with the woods, of silent majestic encounters with wildlife, and of embracing a pause in time.” 

IN (essence) by Edwin & Veronica Dam de Nogales

In (essence) is created in bronze with a mix of polished French-brown and turquoise hues.  The artists, Veronica and Edwin Dam de Nogales’s designed In (essence) to be a lasting reminder of the fragile beauty of nature. 

Public art is an important part of our culture and society. It serves to beautify our cities and towns, to foster a sense of community, to celebrate local history and to express ideas and values.  Creative endeavours bring people together to build a sense of place and of belonging.

“It creates a passageway symbolic of quiet living, of being one with the woods, of silent majestic encounters with wildlife, and of embracing a pause in time.” 

Surprised by Joy

‘Surprised by Joy’ is a heart-breaking poem written by William Wordsworth when recalling the grief of his daughter, Catherine’s passing. The poem is written in the form of a sonnet, with the first eight lines describing his initial shock and disbelief, and the last six lines expressing his deep sorrow and regret.

“Surprised by Joy” is an expressive piece that reflects on the poet’s life and his ability to find joy amidst grief. Wordsworth experienced a great deal of pain throughout his life.  When he writes, “Surprised by joy—impatient as the Wind/I turned to share the transport—Oh! With whom/But Thee, deep buried in the silent tomb, /That spot which no vicissitude can find?” In this passage, Wordsworth expresses surprise at the unexpected joy that came to him even when grieving.  He questions why he can feel joy when his daughter is no longer with him.

William Wordsworth captures the emptiness of grief with words that express a profound understanding of loss.  Yet, there is joy. He reminds us that joy can be found in the most unexpected of places, bringing us back to a time of our most cherished memories.

Surprised by Joy

William Wordsworth

Surprised by joy—impatient as the Wind
I turned to share the transport—Oh! with whom
But Thee, long buried in the silent Tomb,
That spot which no vicissitude can find?
Love, faithful love, recalled thee to my mind—
But how could I forget thee?—Through what power,
Even for the least division of an hour,
Have I been so beguiled as to be blind
To my most grievous loss!—That thought’s return
Was the worst pang that sorrow ever bore,
Save one, one only, when I stood forlorn,
Knowing my heart’s best treasure was no more;
That neither present time, nor years unborn
Could to my sight that heavenly face restore.

I invite you to join me in reciting Surprised by Joy by William Wordsworth

The Famous Five

Never explain, never retract, never apologize. Just get the thing done and let them howl.”

Nellie McClung

Emily Murphy, Nellie McClung, Louise McKinney, Irene Parlby, and Henrietta Muir Edwards are known throughout Canada as the The Famous Five. Together, they fought for the right of women to be recognized as persons in the eyes of the law. This meant that women would be allowed to hold public office, serve on juries, and be treated as equals in the eyes of the law.

The Famous Five – Nellie McClung & Irene Parlby

The Famous Five’s efforts were successful and in 1929, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that women were to be considered persons under the law. This was a major victory for the women’s rights movement in Canada. The legacy of the Famous Five continues to this day, and their efforts are remembered as a major milestone in the fight for gender equality in Canada.

Emily Murphy was born in Cookstown, Ontario in 1868. She was a lawyer and a judge. She was the first woman in the British Empire to be appointed a magistrate. She was also a writer and a suffragist. She wrote several books, including The Black Candle and The Impressions of Janey Canuck Abroad.

Nellie McClung was a Canadian feminist, politician, and social activist who played a pivotal role in the fight for women’s suffrage in Canada. Born in 1873 in Chatsworth, Ontario, she was a teacher before becoming a writer and speaker.

The Famous Five – Henrietta Muir Edwards & Louise McKinney

Louise McKinney, a Canadian politician and suffragist, was born in Frankville, Ontario in 1868. She was the first woman elected to the Alberta Legislative Assembly in 1917.

Irene Parlby, a Canadian politician and suffragist, was born in London, England in 1868. She was the first woman appointed to the Alberta Legislative Council in 1916.She was a leader in the fight for rural rights, and was the first woman to be appointed to the cabinet in Alberta.

The rejoicing all through Canada was not so much that it opened the door of the Canadian Senate to women, as it was that it recognized the personal entity of women, her separate individuality as a person.

Henrietta Muir Edward’s

Henrietta Muir Edwards was a Canadian suffragette, social reformer, and feminist. Her work was instrumental in the fight for women’s rights in Canada. She was a founding member of the National Council of Women of Canada

The Famous Five – Emily Murphy

Meet the Sculptor: Barbara A. Paterson, CM, sculptor (born in Edmonton, AB) is perhaps best known for Women are Persons!, a bronze monument to the Persons Case that depicts the Famous Five.

A Winter Walk on National Hat Day

January 2023 is a great time to start reading!

As the new year begins, it’s the perfect opportunity to set yourself up for success and make reading a priority. Reading opens a whole new world of knowledge and engaging stories. It helps us to expand our minds, gain a better understanding of the world around us and enhance our creative endeavours.

My sister, Sarah, hosts the podcast, The Book Dialogue, which came out of our love of sharing books and stories.  Today, we met on National Hat Day to discuss the books that we have on our 2023 “to be read” stack of books.   We invite you to join our unscripted discussions on books, poetry, and philosophy on The Book Dialogue

“Some hats can only be worn if you’re willing to be jaunty, to set them at an angle and to walk beneath them with a spring in your stride as if you’re only a step away from dancing. They demand a lot of you.”

Neil Gaiman

Celebrate National Hat Day on January 15th by wearing your favorite hat and telling the story behind it. Invite friends to join you in wearing their favorite hats and telling stories or challenge them to make their own hats. Give away hats to those who need them, or those who would appreciate the sentiment. Learn the history of different hats and share photos and videos of your hat collection on social media with the hashtag #NationalHatDay. National Hat Day is a fun and whimsical way to celebrate and enjoy.

A Winter Twilight by Angelina Weld Grimké

Winter is a time for poetry

A Winter Twilight” by Angelina Weld Grimké was published in 1923. The poem is about the beauty of a wintry evening and the power of nature. It is a didactic poem that speaks to the mysteries of the natural world and the inevitability of transitions as the scene moves from day into night.

Walking in winter embraces a stillness that welcomes the change in scenery, the sound of footsteps against snow, the rattle of wind through branches. There is a sense of peace that comes from being surrounded by a cold solitude that brings warmth to the soul.

A Winter Twilight

Angelina Weld Grimké – 1880-1958

A silence slipping around like death,
Yet chased by a whisper, a sigh, a breath;
One group of trees, lean, naked and cold,
Inking their cress ‘gainst a sky green-gold;
One path that knows where the corn flowers were;
Lonely, apart, unyielding, one fir;
And over it softly leaning down,
One star that I loved ere the fields went brown.

The winter season can be a time of reflection and introspection, allowing us to pause and reflect on our hopes and aspirations. Winter offers us time to engage with solitude, knowing that deep in the earth, there are stirrings of life waiting for the coming of spring.

Winter is a time for poetry. 

Thank you for joining me on a Winter walk with Angelina Weld Grimké

Welcoming 2023 with Colour, Paint and Mural Artists

Serendipity has a marvelous way of introducing the extraordinary into our everyday activities. 

Early December, after a quick stop at our local grocery store, Don and I chose a different route to walk home.  At the entrance to a parkade that divided the sidewalk, we were delayed because of cars blocking our path, waiting for the opportunity to merge into traffic.

Arthur Maslard a.k.a. Ratur and Col Urrutia

This slight pause in our walk was the catalyst.  I peered into the parking lot opening and spotted paint, colour, and mural artists creating the most amazing art.   Meeting artists and seeing art evolve deepens the visual and emotional experience.  Every day, we stopped by to see the progress and celebrate how creative endeavour transforms a space and welcomes conversation.

Our gratitude to Arthur Maslard a.k.a. Ratur and Col Urrutia for connecting art with community, bringing mural art to where we work, play, and live.

Arthur Maslard a.k.a. Ratur is a French artist born in Le Havre, France, currently based in Vancouver. He grew up with a strong connection to nature and began channelling his creativity through drawing and graffiti from an early age. Ratur eventually trained in graphic design before turning his focus to canvas and murals. His work often depicts bodies staged in dramatic poses, humans faced with a nature in ruin, mythical figures, and symbols of perpetual rebirth.

Col Urrutia is a Vancouver based artist and instructor. He studied at the Barcelona Academy of Art and in various ateliers throughout the US, where he developed a rich understanding of traditional and contemporary art approaches. He has exhibited in galleries and festivals around the world. In addition to creating art, Col Urrutia also teaches classes on painting, drawing, and mural techniques. He is a highly sought-after instructor due to his unique style and ability to communicate complex ideas in simple terms.