Sunday, 18 September 2011

Cows Fly Home

This is one of my favourite pieces of public art anywhere.  It is beside the Aberdeen Pavilion at Lansdowne Park in Ottawa.  Locally the building is known as the 'Cattle Castle', as the Exhibition was agricultural for most of the 20th century. The piece was made by Tim Desclouds and Vic Charelbois and pivots as a weather-vane.

I have had opportunity to work with Tim Desclouds recently as he won the commission for the art along the reconstructed Bank Street in the Glebe neighbourhood, which is one of my projects.  Tim is a very down to earth guy. He is a teacher and coach and has no airs or pretentiousness about his art. It was interesting to hear him talk about the Bank street pieces to some of the construction workers last week.  He just explained it in straightforward terms that they readily accepted.

Back to the flying cows.  There is a poem from the 1851 Old Farmer's Almanac, on the plaque at the base, which provides insight into the sculpture.

The cows fly home on Sunday
Wind from the east is bad for man and beast
Wind from the south is too hot for both
Wind from the north is of very little worth
Wind from the west is the softest and best

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for viewing my blog and electing to follow it. Maybe you can keep me honest and on a good path to sketching.

    I have been through your sketch journal site and really like your sketches. I find your sketches to have a nice refreshing light touch and it seems to fit well with what the USK groups are targeting. I hope we can exchange comments and ideas as we both move forward on our respective sketching journeys.

    I was interested in your 1st Quarter notes on drawing and see we are both striving for the same thing. I agree with all your comments:
    1/ I have been trying to do 3 drawings a week (actually tried to do daily sketches) but was having a hard time keeping up the daily ones. I ended up with about 3 a week also.
    2/. Yeah, I haven't been too discriminating with my postings, but then again this was intended as a working blog not a show -case. I understand if I join USK then I need to keep a specific Urban sketch blog.
    3/. I have also been trying to sketch faster, reduce details a bit and paint the essence. Also trying to get away from using underlying pencil. I'll be trying this more and am targeting Oct 15th World-wide Sketchcrawl 33 to do a whole day this way.
    4/. I have been working on a book of sketches of the Vancouver West-end.. A kind of Chronicle of places and things as they are in 2011. This started out in a certain style and I do not wish to mix the style as the book progresses. But I plan on carrying forward in a few sketchbook in parallel and experimenting with different styles and techniques.
    5/. Yes.. I probably lean too heavily on colour and should lighten up. That colour comes from my full-size watercolour painting.

    Anyway, I have monopolized your comment box too much already. I hope we can exchange ideas again later.

    Dave Fletcher
    Vancouver, BC