Public Art

On Tuesday this week a bit time opened up to make a drawing in the downtown area. The old park had shade trees and a bit of a view so I sat on a bench and began to record to work. It wasn't long before passersby stopped to chat. This was an unexpected consequence but led to some interesting exchanges. My focus for the drawing was the intersection between the new construction represented by the large cranes looming over the pond and garden I sat in.

One visitor asked if I could identify the floating ship model in the pond. I suggested it was the Titanic based on the four smoke stacks.  Our conversation moved from ships to his tee shirt that had a drawing of the famous skates made by Star Manufacturing in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. When we first moved here in the 1970's our apartment was just down the road from the old factory so a bit of the history was known but I had never heard the story he told me next.

His story begins with the skate designer, a distant relative of his. Somehow during the mid 1800's an order for 500 pairs of these particular skates was made by the Czar of Russia. He noted that the intention was to provide skates for the staff at the winter palace in St Petersburg. I will have to do a bit of checking on this but it is totally amazing to think about with all eyes focused on trade these days.

Other conversations were polite and encouraging as passersby also noted the contrasts between the constructed and the natural. In general everyone was enjoying being outside on such a beautiful day.