Some experiences leave an indelible mark, one that you carry with you through the years.  We’re heading back to George Sawchuk’s Wacky Woods in our running photoblog series “Two Toads in Wonderland” where we found a treasure-trove of pieces of interpretive art on display deep in the forests of Vancouver Island.

The Wacky Woods - Fanny Bay, BC, Canada

The Wacky Woods – Fanny Bay, BC, Canada

Many of the pieces on display are instantly recognizable for the message that George was trying to share with his audience.  Others, not so much.  In some cases, the pieces take on a different meaning for the observer, bringing in personal experience and thoughts as you try to find the underlying message.  Context is important, but sometimes even that isn’t enough in this voyage of discovery.  What does this lion head mean, and why?  In some ways I find this to be a statement on the human condition, as each of us lives and experiences unique events, these all come together to form our feelings and opinions of things encountered in the broader world.

The Wacky Woods - Fanny Bay, BC, Canada

The Wacky Woods – Fanny Bay, BC, Canada

It is often said we hold our own destinies in our hands.  Does this apply here, or is this related to something completely different?  Sometimes we have to look deep inside ourselves to discover the answers to these questions, and sometimes they remain forever elusive.

The Wacky Woods - Fanny Bay, BC, Canada

The Wacky Woods – Fanny Bay, BC, Canada

Each turn in the path leads to a new wonder.  Spots to sit and take it all in are found everywhere, as if George expected us to visit and have to spend some time with our inner selves to find a deeper meaning.  This is as much a voyage of self-discovery as it is a visit to an outdoor gallery.

The Wacky Woods - Fanny Bay, BC, Canada

The Wacky Woods – Fanny Bay, BC, Canada

The juxtaposition of man-made artifacts blends in harmony with the natural elements.  As the west coast weather continues to change the evolving landscape and displays, the scene is in a constant state of flux and change.  Much like our own lives.

The Wacky Woods - Fanny Bay, BC, Canada

The Wacky Woods – Fanny Bay, BC, Canada

We find George’s touch everywhere.  He used any form of material readily available, concentrating on the piece and it’s underlying meaning as opposed to the process and methods.  Is this a statement on how man imprisons nature?  For me it certainly was, but you may see something different.  After all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and so is interpretation.

Thanks for joining us once again here at The Hollow, we really appreciate it.  We love to hear from all our visitors so please feel free to leave us any comments you may have.




  1. avatar Rich McPeek says:

    Terrific post and wonderful shots once again Toad’s! Love it!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks so much, Rich, we sure do appreciate you taking the time to visit and comment like this!

  2. avatar Jimi Jones says:

    Now this is quite an interesting journey through George’s world… and mind. Each of the pieces, very nicely captured by the way, invoke a level of deep thinking and wonderment.

    I clicked to see the larger version of each. There seems to be a bit of a Zen feel to some of these. Perhaps the 4th image is showing us just how hard-headed mankind can be. 🙂

    Whatever George’s intention, this display certainly stimulates conversation.

    Well done, Toad.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      I just love how George’s work gets people to look deeper, evidenced by your TERRIFIC comments here today, Jimi! I love your insights into our post here, many thanks for popping by and for taking the time to leave such thoughtful comments that I am sure everyone will enjoy!

  3. avatar Len Saltiel says:

    George’s art certainly leaves a lot to one’s imagination Toad. I think that is what most artists strive for. The more one has to think about it, the more compelling it is (at least to me). Excellent post.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      I totally agree with you, Len, and I also think it’s one of the fun parts about enjoying art… the introspective look into what it all means to us personally and the conversations that are created as a result of all this! Thanks a ton for taking the time to visit and comment today, Len, it really means a lot!

  4. What a great place! I love stuff like this, must be a great place to explore and get your mind thinking about things, very cool!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      It’s a really terrific experience, Mike, one that puts you in direct contact with your artistic side in an effort to understand what you’re looking at! Thank you so much for your kind visit and comments, we really do appreciate it!

  5. avatar Edith Levy says:

    Woohoo we’re back here. I loved htis the last time you documented it Toad. I really need to come out to Vancouver Island and explore. Fantastic post and images. What a find.

  6. I’m always amazed at how creative people can be in the ways they express themselves. I think George is someone who would’ve been great to have a beer with, don’t you? And great images, btw!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      I totally totally agree with you Steven. Back when he was still here, you’d hear music playing we’re told as you came through the forest to this wonderland. He had a friendly word for everyone who visited and I really would have loved the chance to have sat with him for a few hours and talked. Many thanks for popping on by, my friend, that means an awful lot to us!

  7. avatar Rob says:

    What an incredibly interesting place. So much to see and photograph.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      It really really is, Rob! Thanks so much for your kind support and visit here, we really do appreciate it!

  8. Hi there, I couldn’t find an email for you on here. I just wanted a quick chat. Could you possibly email me back with the email I’ve used in this comment 🙂

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Hi Jimmy, you sir are a scholar and a gentleman! Thank you so much for reaching out and for your gracious offer, it really means a lot to us!

  9. avatar Perry Bailey says:

    Have to admit, I haven’t caught the jist of much of George’s work yet. Still, it’s interesting to ponder. Great set as always, Toad.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you so much Perry! If ever you awake at 3AM with a deeper understanding, please call us right away!! LOL Thanks a ton for your kind visit and comments here, my friend!

  10. Toad

    Wonderful!!

    Your images are well done. I especially like the sharpness and fine detail in your photographs and your saturation levels seem spot on. Thank you for sharing. Your work always inspires me to up my game.

    Spencer McDonald

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      You, sir, are a true scholar and a gentleman my friend, thank you so much for your visit and wonderful comments here today!!!

  11. avatar ehpem says:

    I can’t believe how much there is to see in these Wacky Woods, so many entries in this series now. You must have spent days there! Georges work is very thought provoking, but ultimately what I appreciate the most is how you have captured the setting so well – it really has the feel of the area, which must have been in important part of what he was trying to convey when he placed his work out of doors.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      I really want to head back soon for a follow-up, it’s been a while since we visited and I am sure it’s changed. Thank you so much for your support and encouragement here, my friend, that means an awful lot to us!

  12. Still have not visited that nick of the woods. There seems to be no end to the treasures here. In this post I really enjoyed the little art displays you found and the way you photographed them in their settings.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks Joseph, you sir are a true scholar and a gentleman my friend! We really appreciate all the kindness you show us here, us Toads are so lucky to have such a wonderful friend as you!