The Lake Country Public Art Advisory Commission held a formal ceremony November 26th to unveil the Birdhouse Sculptures installed on the small piece of parkland at the corner of Hwy 97 and Berry Rd
Each of the artists commissed for the bird house sculptures provided a statement on their inspiration and motivation for the piece they designed:
From the very moment that I read about this call for Artists, I had this birdhouse in my minds eye. I have always loved a bright whimsical Folk style. I wanted to build a birdhouse that would add some fun and would bring about a feeling of happiness and inspiration to those who come and visit to this park.
I definitely wanted something birds could live in. I don’t think that there can ever be too many birdhouses. I figured that swallows would be the most common bird that might live in birdhouses that are close to human habitation, so I made hole size, floor size and hole-above-floor distance suitable for those birds. I love watching swallows in the air – they are so sleek and aerodynamic. As far as the outer design, I wanted something to resemble a tree truck, which I thought would suit the style of carving that I do – but it would also give a stylized appearance. Finally, I like to incorporate spirals and helices into some of my designs where possible.
My birdhouse entitled Bel-Air is a tribute to Mid-Century Modern architecture. The Mid-Century Modern era as it refers to architecture was typically from post-war 1945 to 1975 and popular with ranch-style houses across North America. Typical design cues were; post and beam construction, built-in carports, expansive glass areas, angled roof lines and open-concept interiors. 60 years later these homes still evoke a “modern” flavour and Mid-Century style is still very popular in interior design as well. As an added feature to my piece I installed a small solar panel on the roof and lights inside which allow the windows to glow at night.
“NEST” is a three-piece sculptural installation that plays off the recognizable shapes of traditional birdhouses but contrasts it with contemporary lines and non-traditional materials. Hollow metal steel tubing and a custom paint scheme highlight this juxtaposition while actual colours represent three of the many native species of birds in the Okanagan valley.
The Big Nest is part of my ongoing series of nest paintings and sculptures, this being the largest to date. The inspiration was the creations of weaver and bower birds and I have since discovered that hummingbirds also fashion pear shaped nests. I studied metal work and jewelry design at Art School in Europe, so it was natural for me to choose copper, aluminum, steel and found pieces to build the structure with an aim for it to patina and blend into the natural surroundings.
My birdhouse design was created thinking of community, and how a modern city is built. City homes are built close together and come in a variety of sizes and colours. Our communities are beautiful on top supported by an infrastructure of electrical, plumbing and such underneath. So my birdhouse or city, has lights on top and a infrastructure as well on the bottom.
All the materials to build my birdhouse sculpture are leftovers from construction sites or collected from local junk yards. I collected wood, aluminum, stain, tarpaper from roofing, license plates, wiring, piping, and a table, then up-cycled them with help from family and friends into something useful and beautiful. This piece of art was made from pieces of the community it represents, and will hopefully make everyone think more about recycling and up-cycling in the future and take less stuff to the dump.