Legacy was conceived about a year ago. I have been growing more and more concerned about the effects of natural resource extraction on our environment both locally and across the country, and I decided it was time to stop talking and take action.
I wanted to address the pitfalls of our 'economic development at all cost' approach to the environment, and this combined with the fact that the killer whale has long been one of my favourite animals, made this a perfect opportunity to combine these two passions into one project.
On entering the exhibit, viewers will marvel at a life-sized, 25 foot long, killer whale skeleton sculpted entirely from reclaimed cedar and suspended from the ceiling, encircled at ground level by a ring of information pedestals representing barren stumps left after clear-cut logging.
The goal of Legacy is to initiate discussions about the impacts of natural resource extraction on local communities and ecosystems. It encourages the audience to ask questions such as: How did we get here? Are we doing this for the right reasons? Is this venture sensible and/or sustainable? What can I do about it? Legacy will provide guidance for answering these questions and will encourage the audience to examine their own local issues more deeply.
I need your help to make this happen.
Artist concept of the Legacy installation:
In today's throw-away society, more and more people are being taught to consider only their own welfare, and to disregard the consequences of their actions as long as it serves their short-term goals. This is partly due to the effects of rampant consumerism, and partly due to a growing detachment of urban society from the environment that nurtures and provides for it.
Legacy will try to help reconnect people to their environment, appealing to all generations and helping to visualize the fragile and highly interconnected nature of our ecosystems.
Legacy deals specifically with the issue of logging on Canada’s West Coast and the effect this is having on the local resident Killer Whale population. The logging is affecting the whales both directly through pollution and indirectly by poisoning and warming the rivers, which is damaging key salmon spawning grounds. With fish being the main diet of the resident whales, the reduction in salmon is putting great pressure on the whales to find enough to eat, and what they are eating is often highly contaminated.
All over the country, communities are facing difficult decisions presented by proposed and on-going extraction of natural resources. Ventures such as the logging of vast tracts of forest in British Columbia, the extraction of petroleum from the oil sands in Alberta, the proliferation of gravel quarries in Ontario and the construction of hydro generating dams in Quebec are just a few of the areas where our need for resources and our local environment are colliding head-on.
We as individuals need to understand where the resources that support our ever growing cities and our economy are coming from and we need to be aware of the impact that extracting them is having on our environment so that we can proceed in a sensible and sustainable manner. Legacy is a warning that indiscriminate consumption of our natural resources can have devastating, often unforeseen impacts on our environment.
Funding will go toward the design and fabrication of Legacy. This will cover costs from material acquisition and printing of promotional material to the engineering assessment of the suspension of the completed piece.
Funds received beyond the initial target will be used to help Legacy tour the country, in order to make the installation accessible to a larger audience and to spread the message as widely as possible.
Legacy is the expression of Mulmur sculptor Ken Hall's passion for wildlife and the preservation of natural habitat needed to protect our fragile biodiversity.
Ken creates fine art & architectural sculpture in stone, wood and metal. His work covers a wide range of media and techniques, from custom furniture design and fabrication to stone entrance signage and large welded wildlife sculpture. He has worked for many civic and corporate clients as well as undertaking private commissions.
You can see some of Ken's previous work on his website: Ken Hall Art
Legacy will initially be shown at the Dufferin County Museum and Archives in Mulmur, Ontario during the Summer/Fall of 2013. The museum is planning a curriculum with the local schools based around the sculpture and the theme of natural resource extraction.
The final two months of 2012 are crucial for the project development. We need to generate enough momentum to see Legacy through to completion!
Once we've got enough support behind us, then 2013 begins with fabrication of the skeleton itself and the information pedestals. With over 160 bones in a killer whale's skeleton, there's a lot of sculpting to be done.
With the skeleton complete, each piece needs to be left in the sun to bleach - hopefully we get a few nice days in the spring time!
Finally we can bring the pieces together and install them at the musem - the earliest the sculpture will be on display is July 2013, but we'll post updates as a specific installation date becomes more clear.
Remember to check back here often for progress updates and behind the scenes pictures.
The current timeline looks like this:
Legacy is a community funded project. We need your support to make this happen. Financial contributions are essential to secure materials and help with fabrication costs, if you can contribute, even just $25, it will help us to make Legacy a reality. If you can't donate, there are other ways you can help too.
The goal is to sculpt Legacy entirely from reclaimed cedar. As such, if you or anyone you know of has just taken up an old deck near Mulmur, ON, I would be most grateful for any donations of material. Please e-mail me at email@example.com and I will be glad to come and pick the wood up and save you throwing it out.
Most importantly, we need you to help spread the word! Simply by telling others about the Legacy project and sharing the link with your friends and co-workers, you can help us raise awareness both for this project and for environmental issues in general.
Please share our link with as many people as possible:
E-mail it to your friends, put it on your blog or post it on Facebook - get creative!
You can make a difference!
A couple of words of thanks need to be said at the outset:
- Thank you to Darrell Keenie, Ruby Qureshi and the Dufferin County Museum & Archives for their support and encouragement in getting this project going.
Team on This Campaign: