22 June 2020 – These twirling figures are literally burdened with stories …

since Bruce Voyce’s 2016 Love In The Rain installation is Vancouver Park Board’s first official “love lock sculpture.” Each padlock, key ritually discarded, tells its own frozen-moment story of love & commitment, and we can only guess at how each story has evolved since the lock was snapped into place.

The closer you come, the more you see.

And, in our case this past Tuesday, the more you hear.

Scroll back up a moment to that first shot. (Photo credit FM, by the way, and thank you.) See those two figures, intent on the back left sculpture? Two eager young girls, studying each sculpture, choosing their favourite locks, and absolutely delighted to share their discoveries with us.

We let them lead us around and, keeping prudent social-distance between us, we admire their choices.

The big fish, for example, ‘way down low! (Not to mention that heraldic lock next to it.)

And the shiny turtle, ‘way up high!

Later, in the gardens section of the same Queen Elizabeth Park, we hear another story, this time a botanical story.

We’ve stopped to watch the meticulous bedding-out being done by a young Parks employee, fall into conversation, congratulate her on how good everything looks — and then redouble our praise when we notice a stretch of bent-vine fencing.

“It’s even a living fence,” we breathe, in awe at all those tendrils of new growth. The young woman laughs, and shares the credit. She twisted some discarded pieces of cut vine into place; Mother Nature — surprise! — brought them back to life.

Later yet again, now walking north from the park on Prince Edward Street, we come across two blocks’-worth of community stories. Art, commentary, photos, poetry … all of it neatly stapled to wooden utility poles between East 21st & East 19th.

Like this.

On top, a photograph of a mossy log; middle level, somebody’s yellow “My COVID Map”; bottom left, a poem; bottom right, a watercolour. And more to the other side.

I explore the COVID Map, section by section. Not surprisingly, it features walking, and discoveries made while walking …

Now. Did you notice that bit of a bright orange head at the bottom? The bit I seem to have forgotten to crop out of the shot?

Aha. I left it on purpose. A segue to the next section of the map.

I like the boyfriend-James story. I also notice, and sigh at, the artist’s further observation on the right. “Xenophobia and tribalism” indeed.

Several of the poles feature a poem by Julia Pileggi, a name that has meant nothing to me until now.  Here’s just one example.

I like her work a lot, and I like her even better when I visit her website later on. A local  performance poet/artist, she has just won a 2020 IABC Golden Quill Award for Excellence for her I Am Your Nurse tribute to nurses. Created in 2019, it’s stunningly relevant right now, and you can see the video when you follow the link above.

Every pole wears its own stories.

Someone shares a reading list …

and someone else pretty well sums up what they’ve all been doing, all these contributors with all these stories, up & down these two blocks of Prince Edward Street.

My friend points out what I’ve missed: a multitude of tiny figures on the stem of the rose.

Helping each other create something beautiful.



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  1. What beautiful finds!

  2. Those a nice ‘thorns’ on the rose!

  3. Harika makale! Teşekkür ederim !. Makaleye katılıyorum ve burada birkaç cümle var, cümleyi iyi yazıyorsunuz, ne demek istediğinizi anlıyorum, bu benim için bir fikir oluşturacak çünkü bu makalede bana geçmişimdeki bir şeyi hatırlatıyor.

    • thank you for your interest, and taking time to comment — I am so sorry that I cannot read what you say, but I appreciate it — be safe, be well

  4. Pretty amazing! Do you know how the idea of putting these thoughts on the poles began? It’s really wonderful, nice and ordinary and small-scale. And the living fence is a very nice touch for that garden. The locks I have seen a little too much of – it seems like everyone has to have a bridge or statue or some public place where they can leave locks, and in the age of social media, I have my doubts about the sincerity of many of those gestures. But that’s my cynical New York side speaking. 😉 This particular rendition is awfully nice though. Enjoy the weekend – looks like decent weather. 🙂

    • Don’t know how the pole-stories began, not quite my neighbourhood — but anybody could do it, that’s the charm of the thing. Just talk to your neighbours. I share your attitude to love-locks, in fact will see your NY cynicism & raise it with my own age-related cynicism! Note my reference to how all those stories will have evolved since snapping the locks into place… But better to have some handsome new public art installations created for the purpose, than see poor old bridges groaning under the weight… And I do like these sculptures a lot all on their own, and (don’t tell anyone) I don’t care a toss about the subsequent amatory history of participants. Enjoy your own weekend!

      • 🙂 Well, maybe a little cynicism is OK then. 😉 (Yes, I did notice that you questioned the durability of those stories too). Good point about the public art made for the purpose. Your secret is safe with me. 😉

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    "Traveller, there is no path. Paths are made by walking" -- Antonio Machado (1875-1939)

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