The Paschaendaele Project

I spent a great deal of time meditating on what symbol I could possibly use that would reflect the spirit of those indigenous soldiers that fell during the Great War in Passchendaele.

The feather soon became the clear symbol. Feathers play an important role in my work. Amongst many things, the feather symbolizes trust, honour, strength, wisdom, power and freedom. They are carried by the wind and bring messages of hope and victory. Inuit believe in SILA, she is the wind, the sun, the moon, she is all powerful. Each feather in this work is cradled by SILA as they journey to their resting place. Their departure from the world of the living, entering the other world of our ancestors.

The work is comprised of a granite monolith which will be rough hewn on the rear and summit or crown. The front surface will be cut and polished on a 60° angle. It represents the rough terrain that the soldiers had to battle through, the craters, the scars of the bullets fired, the muddy hills they fought and died for. Feathers will be engraved into the polished surface of the stone. They will appear to be falling to the ground representing the fallen soldiers. At the foot of the stone will be cast iron feathers. These will be anchored into the ground with metal rods. There will be three. Thereafter, I plan to have other three dimensional feathers cast in iron, scattered throughout the garden, again representations of the fallen soldiers. These too will be anchored into the ground with reverse prong pegging. They will rust in time, a desired process.

The inauguration will take place on November 9th. Photos of the event will be posted thereafter. In the meantime herewith an artist’s impression of the work created by extremely talented photo artist Carol Abel using the 3 dimensional simulation provided by the firm contracted to engrave the feathers.