A giant Vancouver Island marble sculpture that honours the legend of Takaya could be coming to Oak Bay’s Cattle Point.
An anonymous art patron commissioned stone sculptor Kent Laforme for the purposes of donating it to Oak Bay.
In September, the municipal council approved the installation of a stone sculpture to go on the King George Terrace lookout, and now the district is inviting the community to share their reflections, thoughts and stories of the coastal wolf.
“Much in the way that muralist Luke Ramsey used the community feedback for the Oak Bay mural [behind Oak Bay High], [Laforme] will use the reflections to guide his interpretation of the marble,” said Oak Bay Mayor Kevin Murdoch.
The sculpture, it should be noted, will not be a giant model of Takaya. Instead, it is an interpretation that will showcase the natural beauty of the substantially sized marble in many ways.
When Laforme had the 25,000-pound stone propped upright he noticed the profile of a wolf’s head howling.
Takaya’s head carved neatly into the natural surface of the 25,000-pound piece of Vancouver Island marble that could go on Cattle Point. (Kevin Murdoch Photo)
“It’s not your typical block of marble,” said Laforme in a new video on the sculpture. It’s been pushed up by a glacier and been on the forest floor for thousands of years.
“[I] really [want to] integrate him into the stone and leave a lot of the natural geology and surface of the rock… integrate aspects of his environment, waves, bull kelp, goose eggs, and have community input of their stories,” Laforme said.
Most notably, a cylindrical hole, or portal, has been bored out from the middle.
“The portal provides an intimate space to look directly onto the islands where he lived,” Laforme said. “I’m hopeful that the art goes [into Cattle Point], I feel, personally, that it belongs here and when I designed it, it was site-specific to Cattle Point.”
|(Kevin Murdoch Photo)|
The cylinder also acts as an acoustic sound tunnel, Laforme noted, inspired by Cheryl Alexander’s communal howl that she organized after Takaya’s death.
“I want people to howl,” Laforme said. “We should all howl for this wolf.”
A district release said Oak Bay Parks and local experts on endangered native plants have partnered to suggest a potential site at Cattle Point. The donor likes the location, Murdoch said, and it could be a “natural and accessible gallery” for the sculpture, said the release.
The sculpture is not yet committed to Oak Bay.
Visit oakbay.ca/takayareflections to share words, photographs, songs, art or anything that Takaya brings to mind.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.