Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Whimsical Driftwood Sculptures of Campbell River, BC

I did not drive to Campbell River with any particular activity planned, so imagine my delight when I came across these whimsical carvings on the shoreline of Highway 19A. I laughed aloud at the exaggerated wide eyed, red lipped fish; and I wondered if the open mouth on the old man’s lined face expressed surprise.

I smiled at the otter holding a crab across its chest. The image reminded me that our family once nicknamed my son Chris “Otter” for his frequent missteps as the child. Chris was the kid who frequently slipped into the fishing hole at the Westline and lost his rod but came up grasping a creature from the water much like an otter.

Another carving attracted the attention of youngsters and the rest of us too. The red and green pair of characters popping out of the carved trash could grace the screen of Sesame Street. Was this an artist’s interpretation of Oscar the Grouch, but with a smile?

Some carvers took a more serious approach. One created the lifelike the waving mane in the profile of a horse. Another captured the thrust of a whale crashing through the surf. The detail and smoothness of each invited my touch. They felt smooth like the polished finish of expensive furniture.

A banner strung between two trees proclaimed this display: “Campbell River Shoreline Arts Society, Transformation on the Shore, Driftwood Carving Competition.” I did not try to weight my opinion with that of the competition’s judges. I simply enjoyed my Sunday afternoon stroll among the carvings and wondered about how ragged pieces of driftwood were transformed to these masterpieces.

July 20, 2008

Transformations on the Shore

13th Annual Amateur/Pro-wood Carving Contest

June 25 - 29, 2008

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