You just never know what to expect around the next corner.  The creed “sometimes art imitates life” comes to mind as we take in the various pieces on display and try to understand their deeper meaning.  Some are obvious, some are much less so.  But at the end of the day, the entire collection is a fascinating body of work.

We find ourselves back at George Sawchuk’s Wacky Woods, further exploring the outdoor art exhibit George created and left behind as a legacy for everyone to enjoy.  This post is part of our running series “Two Toads in Wonderland” highlighting George’s gallery.

The Wacky Woods - Fanny Bay, BC, Canada

The Wacky Woods – Fanny Bay, BC, Canada

I really believe you could spend a lifetime looking at this and still have lingering questions.  It’s both highly out-of-place, and at the same time it’s the perfect piece for the exhibit.  One of the most interesting facets to the outdoor display is the dichotomy you encounter looking at all the pieces manufactured by man intertwined with elements of nature.  These stark contrasts make you stop and ponder the bigger meaning.  It’s quite evident that this machine won’t be washing our outfits anytime soon, but this sure doesn’t detract from the interest.

The Wacky Woods - Fanny Bay, BC, Canada

The Wacky Woods – Fanny Bay, BC, Canada

I have no clue, but this sure didn’t preclude us from standing here trying to understand the background of this item.  No matter your taste in art or opinion on the exhibit, part of the larger wonder of the gallery is trying to understand what George was trying to tell us.  Never assume anything, and let your mind wander down the avenues of possibility.  What do you see here?

The Wacky Woods - Fanny Bay, BC, Canada

The Wacky Woods – Fanny Bay, BC, Canada

The viewer at first glance encounters the wood stove here.  The juxtaposition of the iron stove against the raw backdrop of the forest may or may not be compelling by itself.  A closer look reveals a frying pan with a rock and a gauge on it.  I am pretty sure no matter how long you try to cook that rock, it’s not going to be tender.  What kind of sauce would you put on this, anyways?

A close look reveals a cement pad under the stove here.  This would lead us to believe that a great deal of thought and planning went into this display, as obviously the intent here was to create something rather permanent.  This finding only creates more questions than it answers…

The Wacky Woods - Fanny Bay, BC, Canada

The Wacky Woods – Fanny Bay, BC, Canada

Even the horseshoe pit and its surroundings become a part of the overall exhibit.  This blending of art with life really added a wonderful dimension to our visit that day, and furthered the strong sense of mystery we found ourselves leaving with.  We would so have loved to have spent a few hours with George, tossing horseshoes and talking about the modern world we find ourselves living in.

The Wacky Woods - Fanny Bay, BC, Canada

The Wacky Woods – Fanny Bay, BC, Canada

Parts of the exhibit are part of a sub-collection, like this area we see here.  Each piece can stand on its own quite easily, but when taken in as a whole you begin to recognize that in some cases the collections themselves formed part of the message George was trying to share here.  What did it all mean?  Perhaps we’ll never fully know, but we can each come away with our own interpretations and come to our own conclusions.  This may itself be one of the biggest gifts that George left behind with his legacy.

Thank you so very much for your visit today, we really appreciate it.  Please feel free to leave us any comments you may have as we really do love to hear from all our visitors.




  1. avatar Rich McPeek says:

    What an amazing place! Terrific post and photos my friend! Have a great weekend!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you so, so much Rich, we really do appreciate your kind support my friend!

  2. avatar Edith Levy says:

    Just got back from a week’s vacation and happy to have a new Toad Hollow post waiting for me. What a fascinating place. Wonderful post and images my friend.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you so much, Edith, we have no idea how we can thank you for all your friendship & support here!

  3. This is possibly the best set from this location to date Scott. Love it

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      What a kind thing to say, Chris, that really means an awful lot to us my friend!!

  4. avatar Len Saltiel says:

    What a different and thought provoking place Toad. Wonderful images and write-up, my friend.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      That just means so very much to us, Len, your kindness is very much appreciated!!

  5. These are truly some interesting and unusual objects. Nice work capturing them, and sharing your thoughts.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks ever so kindly, Steven, that really is so kind of you to say! We really appreciate you taking the time to visit and for leaving us your wonderful comments here!

  6. avatar Rick Louie says:

    This place cracks me up! Return shoes after play – Ha! I played my first game of horseshoes while out at a friends cabin last week. What a great time! I think I need to make a pit in my back yard. Wonderful writeup as always, Toad!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks so very much, Rick, we really appreciate your kind comments and encouragement here!! Best wishes installing your horseshoe pit!

  7. avatar Jimi Jones says:

    Toad, leave it to you to find the most interesting things to photograph. 🙂
    Pretty amazing place and great shots as always.

  8. avatar Mark says:

    What an odd and wonderful place! I love the comments about cooking the rock. Certainly someone had a put some creative thought into creating this surreal exhibit.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      No doubt about it, Mark, it’s a thoughtful exhibit! Thanks for the visit, my friend!

  9. Very interesting collection. You do have to wonder what George was thinking when this was put together. I really like the details in the pictures. Especially the iron stove – so much going on there. Another fantastic post my friend!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you so very much for taking the time to pop on by Michael, we sure do appreciate all your friendship & support here! Isn’t this place just amazing!!

  10. avatar MarnieMarn says:

    I used to live on Ships Point Road. I remember when we first moved to the area, locals told us about “…this place in the woods….” They called it “Enchanted Forest’. We lived a km or so away, and visited it often. Sometimes, Mr Sawchuck would see us out there, and would play Chamber Music, to add ambiance, as we explored his ‘gallery’. We moved away about 12 years ago, and I didn’t realize that George had passed away. Thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute to his work and passion.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      That really means an awful lot to us here. We are so happy that we were able to share this with you, and we appreciate so much your kind comments. We keep finding more and more personal stories of people who encountered George, much like you describe here… we really wish we had had a chance to meet him. Thank you for taking the time to visit us, and for leaving these great comments that everyone will really enjoy!