You could venture into the forest a thousand times and never see anything like this. And the further you go, the more you realize you’ve uncovered something completely profound. Is it a statement on modern civilization, is it a political message, is it one of Canada’s best kept secrets? It’s all these things. And more.
This post is a continuation of our running series “Two Toads in Wonderland” that takes us on a journey exploring the legacy of Canadian artist George Sawchuk and his Wacky Woods.
Canadian west coast forests are dense. Visibility into the thick trees and vegetation is typically limited to a number of feet. This is not terribly meaningful in-and-of itself, but when taken in the context of this art display it serves to mask and hide the true grand scale of the exhibit. This place it truly amazing, you can almost feel the magic in the air as you wander the incredible presentation, taking in all the intricate pieces and the beauty of their surroundings.
George was a passionate and intelligent man who really seemed to love the area he lived in and the country he was part of. Each piece is totally unique, sometimes sharing a very specific message, other times hiding it in subtlety.
A road sign tacked to a tree. Clearly there is no road here, as a matter of fact we’re quite far away from the nearest one. Nevertheless, as we came across this presentation we stopped for a moment to try to understand the meaning behind it. Several ideas were bantered back and forth between myself and Mrs. Toad, but neither of us could come to a definitive solution to the question. If you look closely you will see the actual street sign is fixed in place by the tree, almost as if it’s holding it up. This organic blending of art and nature is to be found everywhere in the exhibit adding so much depth to the sensation and mystery that comes with a visit here.
In this piece we have nature and man working together in the creation of art. Its direct meaning is lost upon us, but we find ourselves absolutely mesmerized. The chilly and damp spring day we visited only served to further mute the tones and colors in the gallery, resulting in some of the pieces almost melting into their surroundings. To take in the entire gallery, one must remain alert and in tune with the everything around you.
And what have we here? We really don’t know, for sure. We’d love to hear some interpretations from you. This is definitely a very unique item. Again, the blending of natural organic materials in conjunction with carefully crafted bits of scrap metal combine to create the most elaborate and interesting piece.
Around every corner is a treasure. At times if you peek around a corner you will see much more awaits you deeper in the woods. It seems to go on quite forever, really.
The amount of time, care and effort that George put into creating each item for the display is mind-altering. This is a huge body of work, focusing on several key issues in the modern-day world.
Each visitor who comes across this fabulous exhibit leaves a changed person. The items on display cause most to stop and look deep within, to question our own thoughts and beliefs. We found ourselves a tab bit introspective after our visit, almost as if the act of coming to experience the gallery has made us more acutely aware of who we are as people, and how we fit into the society we find ourselves living in.
Thank you so very much for taking the time to visit us, we really appreciate it. As always, we encourage everyone to leave us any comments that you may have as we truly love to hear from all our visitors.