Some much needed rain at the farm today

May 28, 2016

 

Sage, apples, lavender – everything is growing beautifully at the Woodwynn Peace Garden! With the weight of the fruit, some of the trees needed staking and that was on today’s task list.

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And we’ve been watering for several weeks now – with an easier system than last year… bigger barrels, more of them, and a pump with long hoses that spray. This is bliss compared to last year – small barrels, a holding tank, a short hose and the dip-the-pitcher-into-the-buckets-that-are-too-heavy-to-carry method of hand watering. This was slow, but it did give us a chance to assess each plant every time we watered. Now that the plants are well-established, they need less attention and less water as well so it’s still a task, but not as grueling as last summer. Just the same, all the water still comes from a distant pump on the farm and has to be transported with a truck.

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Even with our easier system, the forecast of a cooler summer is welcome to us! We were delighted with today’s rain. Glad that the volunteers who came out today were not afraid of the weather and we thank them for all the weeds they pulled! The compost heap is now Very Full. We have the weed situation basically under control, but we know that those thistles and blackberries would dominate quickly if we left things for more than a few weeks. That’s why we keep at it, every week, during the growing season.

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Oh and I can’t stop playing with panorama shots and iPhone “special effect” apps. This image is the east barn near the pump house.

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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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LOVE

January 6, 2016

Fantastic drone footage and more — in this video that we made for Deryk’s upcoming “LOVE” exhibition at Art Works Gallery in Vancouver. Contact Deanna Geisheimer for more information (604) 688-3301

Hope that many of you will be able to attend. The opening is February 12, 2016.

We are super excited and thank Dale Clark for his drone photography, Amy Hall for her cello performance, Sam Houston for the sculptures as well as the sound tech work.

And of course, Deryk Houston and Richard Leblanc!

 

Oh yeah, I have helped out a bit too 🙂


Beautiful start to the New Year

January 1, 2016

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Also, see our “teaser” video on YouTube: Amy playing cello at Woodwynn


Rainy Day

December 29, 2015

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Of course during the winter there is a lull for some of work in the Peace Garden. It’s been raining a lot so we certainly don’t have to water. The weeds have slowed down and according to my notes – they won’t be needing much attention till sometime in March.

But we still have the urge to be on the site at least once a week. It’s beautiful in the rain and mist and the shadows are stunning when the sun shines on the short days. Also… there are paths to maintain, more artwork to plan and create, more driftwood pieces to build etc.

As for guests, we’re especially delighted to see them at this time of year! Dress warmly though….  🙂

 

 

 


Glass art will be in Chemainus, May 2016

December 18, 2015

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My glass mosaic at the Woodwynn Peace Garden is an example of the type of work I’ll have on display in May at the Chemainus Theatre. I’m delighted to have been invited to show my work there during the run of a favourite play of mine: “Harvey”


Volunteers at Woodwynn Today

October 3, 2015

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The day was perfect. Clear and bright. Our blue-shirt volunteers helped with the weeding, they created clear spaces around each apple tree and added wood chips to the pathways. Many had been last year – they noticed a difference and we appreciate their dedication.