The Pillar of Ability
When I was asked to create a sculpture for the BC Centre for Ability I really didn’t know very much about the work they did there. As the project began, I started to learn more about the Centre and its mission. With each visit I became increasingly impressed with the energy, passion and commitment shown by the staff and marvelled at the tremendous courage and inspiration involved in their work.
I also became far more informed about individuals and families whose extraordinary courage and sacrifices were a constant force in their lives as they faced daily battles that were remarkable and difficult to imagine. To see such a spectrum of support in action simply illuminated my own artistic exploration for the Centre.
When I was composing the narrative that I envisioned spiralling around the column I wanted to express a sense of community based on hope, happiness and inclusivity.
My goal was to tell a story that illustrated the values and ideals upheld by the Centre. Drawing led me back to memories of childhood and wonderful books by Mercer Mayer and M.B.Goffstein. The playful style in children’s books seemed like the perfect fit for the column. Basically I wanted to convey a visual story about what the BC Centre for Ability represents. My plan was to draw on the stone and then carve what I drew.
After I’d submitted the drawings I’d received a very flattering email that really summed up what I was trying to get across with the artwork. It read, “The pictographs capture the pathos and the hope. They transport one into the world of struggle, family love and the need for support from a caring Canadian society. You manage to find the joy of childhood amidst the sorrow of impediment too. You are able to capture that it is about finding a way.’
The Column of Ability is dedicated to everyone at the Centre (past, present and future) whose work transforms lives and fosters a supportive and compassionate community built with respect, inclusivity, and most notably love.
July 23, 2014