Solstice – sculpture at the Woodwynn Peace Garden

April 23, 2016

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“Solstice”
by Elizabeth Wellburn, Samuel Houston
and Deryk Houston

These are photos of “Solstice” – our sculpture that has recently been placed in a very special location at Woodwynn Farms in the Peace Garden. It is placed in best possible spot to capture the first morning light on the shortest day of the year – the Southeast corner of the Peace Garden. Light flows through it at various times of day during other days of the year as well.

The theme of “Solstice” is transitions (seasonal or otherwise) that happen to people and to the natural world. The sculpture is steel, plexiglass and recycled glass (most of it kiln formed) and I created the translucent design using a glass on glass mosaic technique.

Sometime near the beginning of the construction of the Peace Garden (about three years ago) I knew I wanted to create a piece of art for that location and I wanted it incorporate the cathedral-like quality of coloured glass. I had a strong desire to express my ideas about the winter solstice – the shortest day but also a time of transition to a time of more light. Finding the inner strength to move beyond dark times seems to me to be what Woodwynn is all about. And the solstice is an important marker of the cycles of seasons that are so much a part of farm (and human) life.

An Albert Camus quote from Return to Tipasa (1954) inspired me:

“In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” (As translated in Lyrical and Critical Essays (1968), p. 169; also in The Unquiet Vision : Mirrors of Man in Existentialism (1969) by Nathan A. Scott, p. 116.)

I planned out colours to evoke the four seasons. The bottom left is winter – in icy blues with a few hints of berry red. Moving clockwise there is a panel with the pastels and fresh greens of spring. At the top the turquoise sky shines above colours that might be found in a poppy field or a watermelon patch. Amber and gold are next for autumn and then we complete the cycle with winter once again at the bottom right.

I worked with Samuel and Deryk to develop a structure to house the glass to have a sheltering quality as well as the feeling of a seasonal clock. I feel comfortable and at peace with the solid, rounded design. It serves as an archway over a natural stone bench that allows a visitor to sit and look down at the valley.

Previously this piece was installed in Nanaimo, near the Port Theatre and it stayed there for one year until it was time for us to donate it to Woodwynn. It is now in the spot that it was designed for and I am really happy to see it there!

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Memento

September 30, 2013
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Glass on glass mosaic “Memento” – by Elizabeth Wellburn (photo credit to John Garforth)

Sooooo…. my piece for the Richmond Recycle Centre and the Richmond “Art in Unexpected Places” initiative is now installed!

You can view it at 5555 Lynas Lane.

The title is “Memento” – named after a very interesting movie. The piece is not intended to relate to the dark side of that movie, but rather taps into the idea of preserving things as a way to retain memory – something the main character in the movie was compelled to do. There are lots of little items/memories preserved in the mosaic and I think the name is a good fit.

It was a wonderful experience to make this piece.

Special thanks to John (and Jax) for the photo!

And also special thanks to the folks in the offices of the City of Richmond and the Public Works Yard for all their help to make this happen. http://www.richmond.ca/culture/publicart/collection/PublicArt.aspx?ID=475


Glass Project – Recycling Centre Richmond BC

June 8, 2013

My own news is that I finally completed the six glass mosaic pieces and delivered them to Richmond. Art in Unexpected Places will soon be a reality for the Richmond Recycling Centre. The stand, being built by the welding shop folks – is going to be perfect!

Here are some shots. They want me to be there for the day it is actually installed, so I’ll obviously get more photos then!

Glass in the Kiln

Glass in the Kiln

Kiln Run for Richmond

Kiln Run for Richmond

Chunks and base glass all ready for assembly to begin

Chunks and base glass all ready for assembly to begin

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Evening shot – early stages

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The next evening – a bit more complete

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Finished pieces

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Detail

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How it will fit in the stand

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The stand will be powder coated in a rich blue colour