Chris Pancoe and I recently teamed up and were short listed for a public art project in Grand Beach, Manitoba. The call was for a piece of public art to mark the trail heads that meet at the beach boardwalk, located on the shores of Lake Winnipeg.
We proposed Ring of Feathers, a series of 15′ metal feathers sheltered by an arc wall of rammed earth at the Grand Beach Gateway Trailhead. The art highlighted the long-standing relationship between the humans, the birds and the geology of the area. Using the bird feathers and the rammed earth wall as our icons, the design celebrated the prominent bird species of the Grand Beach area and promoted the local ecology and geology that are extremely important aspects of the area’s history.
- The Grand Beach Gateway is a gateway to an ecological paradise where humans and birds live together in harmony at the beach. The Ring of Feathers will be a reminder to people of how important birds are to our ecosystem and a reminder that these creatures should be celebrated. The Grand Beach area provides a significant bird habitat and is home to the Pine to Prairie International birding trail that stretches from Northern Minnesota to the trailhead and beyond, with Grand Beach being one of the key stops on this trail The Ring of Feathers will be a unique meetng place and a startng point to the trail. “Let’s meet at the ring of feathers.”
- Grand Beach is one of Manitoba’s most popular summer attractions and has been a recreational site since the early 1900’s. Birds are a major part of that history too. Walking along the beaches, one of our favorite pass times as kids was finding feathers. Finding feathers on your path is often seen in symbolism as having a lighter outlook on life or a particular situation. Finding a feather can be seen as a symbolic message of our need to lighten up and not take things too seriously and to try and relax. Finding the joy in our given situation is synonymous with spent at the beach.
The project went before a jury and we weren’t chosen, but the process was still quite rewarding. There are two more trail heads being marked with art in the near future so our hope is to use some of these construction elements we’ve researched in a future outdoor installation. Anyone need a 15′ steel feather in there yard?:) Or maybe a 12″ steel feather for your desk? hmmm.