The Unsolved Mystery of Leg-in-Boot

Standard

The year 1887.

They found a human leg trapped in a boot. As the story is remembered, the leg washed up on the shore of False Creek. No one claimed it, even though it was prominently displayed in the local police station for all to view. No one showed up or even appeared to be interested in the unusual display. It remains an unsolved mystery.

The police station is no more. Yet, the narrative remains alive, over 100 years later,in the name, Leg-in-Boot Square. And now there is great interest in the current display – Acoustic Anvil: A Small Weight To Forge The Sea.

Leg-in-Boot Square, once a thriving part of False Creek’s industrialization, has taken on a more serene, even sedate, orientation. The chaotic mishmash of forges, boat-builders and stevedores, has been replaced by walkers, runners and bikes that share the Vancouver Seawall. It is a place of respite with benches offering a view of Vancouver’s ever growing skyline and the sailboats berthed at the nearby marina.

Art remembers and gives voice to our histories and legends. This month, the “Acoustic Anvil: A Small Weight to Forge the Sea” gives a hearty nod to Vancouver 1887. Maskull Lasserre has created a massive sculpture, with measurements of approximately three-by-eight-metres, to celebrate False Creek’s industrial era.

The Acoustic Anvil arrived on Thursday, July 19th at 10:30. Dramatic, vibrant, solid – those were the words that came to me when I reached out my hand for the first touch. Then I heard the music.

“What is the sound? Where is it coming from? Where does it transport you.”

Moving On

Standard

There is a time to move on. That is what my grandmother told me many years ago. It is how we move on that makes life interesting, productive, meaningful.

We cannot change time, or the season. What we can do is embrace the present, to honour the moments that are given and affirm the poignancy of our inability to hold time in abeyance.

Cities are no different. They are ever-changing, a reflection of our evolving societies. As the Scottish scientist, Patrick Geddes, noted, “But a city is more than a place in space, it is a drama in time.” And time moves on, with new dramas appearing and receding into archival memory.

La Taqueria restaurant, situated on Cambie and Broadway, close to City Hall is on the move. The building is scheduled for demolition, making way for a new construction that promises more space and amenities. For patrons of La Taqueria, the move is only a block away. Within the messages of gratitude written on the walls, there is a recognition of moving on, for acknowledging that what was once, is no more. There is also a sense of excitement, anticipation, a commitment to accept what comes next.

“To every thing here is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

Happy Canada Day

Standard

July 1st is a special day for Canadians. We are celebrating the anniversary of July 1, 1867 when we became a Dominion. The Constitution Act, 1867 (then called the British North America Act, 1867) united our three separate colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick into a single Dominion.

Join me on a walk along the Vancouver Seawall and meet up with my friends, the family of Canadian Geese. It seems they know how to enjoy a day of relaxation even when they are positioned on the edge of the busy bike-path

“My dream is for people around the world to look up and to see Canada like a little jewel sitting at the top of the continent.” Tommy Douglas, Father of Medicare, Premier of Saskatchewan 1944-1961

Canada Secret Mountain

Standard

There is a special place in our hearts for artists who live big, bold and fully committed to their creative mission. Their vibrant lives act as a strident call to action that prompts, or rather demands, that we follow their example and explore, experience, and share our personal creativity. We are the voice of this time and place, the generation whose moment has come to write our story within the narrative of humanity.

Spanish artist, Okuda San Miguel is one of those bright lights who motivate us to seek a deeper understanding of where imagination takes us. His work is recognized for its geometric prints and multicolored style and design. There are mythological undertones that speak to the need for meaningful dialogue.

Okuda San Miguel’s mural, “Canada Secret Mountains” has come to Vancouver and resides on a building at 325 West 4th. The stories of the British Columbia’s west coast, embedded with Okuda’s insights, has been written for all to see and experience.

May we answer an artist’s call to action and, today, live big lives.

The Drop

Standard

“The role of the artist is to ask questions, not answer them.” Anton Chekhov

Water!

The ubiquitous compound, consisting of two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen in every molecule, supports our very existence and safeguards our world and all inhabitants that call earth their home.

Water is important – we recognize this axiom.

Do we understand our responsibility to that truth?

In our reality, we are facing profound and complex questions of who will share the clean water? the fresh air? and nutritious food?

We are a global community with global agendas that will demand our full participation and collaboration.

We can count on artists to signal a call to action. Along the Vancouver Seawall that passes by Vancouver Convention West, “The Drop” stands tall, a forceful reminder that life is embedded in drops of water

Art Under a Bridge

Standard

 

The idea of permanence imbues feelings of safety and security.

Stability, durability, endurance, constancy – these words allow us to indulge in long-term planning and undertake big dreams that will happen sometime in the future.    The assumption of indefinite unchangeability suggests that we have time enough for everything because what is today, will surely be here tomorrow.

Tomorrows are fresh starts and they chose their own destinies.  All we are given is a reasonable expectation or likelihood of what may, or may not, occur.

For all our supposed need for permanence, however, what lies within us is something far more profound – the need to explore, to experience the extraordinary, to live big lives.  Now, in the present. Not in the opaque and unknown future.

One thing that remains steadfast is our desire for community, for belonging, for a place to call home.

#ChalkTalks – a student project by CityStudio “made by us, for you” appeared in the afternoon and left the same evening.

Thomas Merton, in No Man is an Island, wrote, “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”   That thought came to mind when I walked under a bridge and experienced this remarkable temporary art installation.

 

Within a few hours, the crowds dispersed, and the music stopped. By morning, all that remained were a few chalk messages left on cement walls.  And yet, what these students said through art, remains with those who experienced the moment.

Perhaps that is the only permanence we need.