Sunday, June 23, 2024

Esquimalt Lagoon’s driftwood sculptures damaged after artist receives threats on them


Since April of this year, Vancouver Islanders taking a stroll near Esquimalt Lagoon have likely noticed the stunning driftwood sculptures along the beach.

The beautiful pieces of art were made by Langford resident Paul Lewis, whose first creation was made by wood and shells found at the lagoon.

“I really enjoyed being out in nature and getting creative with the natural and abundant pieces of wood at my fingertips and just letting my creative juices flow,” Lewis said back in April.

However, the waterside art displays have come under threat recently, as Lewis says an individual has threatened to destroy the driftwood sculptures.

“So over the past few days I’ve been harassed by a fellow named Robert who has been messaging me about the sculptures at esquimalt lagoon…” said Lewis in a Facebook post.

“[He said] they are disgusting and has said he wants to smash them apart with a bat and wants them gone… I came down today to check on them and sure enough the swan was decapitated.”

“He is rallying a petition to have them removed. Maybe the supporters of the sculptures could rally together and save them.”

While this individual has expressed his disdain for the sculptures, even going so far as to say that he had a “screw gun” to dismantle them, Lewis told Victoria Buzz that a different party was responsible for damaging the wooden swan.

“…A 17 year old and his friends contacted me after seeing the uproar and admitted to the damage.”

“It was an accident and [they] sincerely apologized.”

Community responds

After the post was shared on social media, hundreds of people came to Lewis’ support.

In response to the petition to have the sculptures removed, another online petition was created to protect the wood-feathered creatures.

The petition, Save Esquimalt Lagoon Bird Sculptures is calling upon the city of Colwood to act, and at the time of posting had 1,726 signatures with a goal of reaching 2,500.

Victoria Buzz reached out to the municipality but has not received a response at this time.

Back in June, vandals stole or damaged several of the statues.

After the damage was done hundreds of people voiced their support for Lewis. Encouraged by the community, he rebuilt some of the stolen statues.

On Sunday, Lewis replaced the severed head of the swan that was damaged the day before.

Swan is getting a new head today. Burr it's cold down here.. could use a coffee and baileys…

Posted by Paul Lewis on Sunday, December 30, 2018

Adam Chan
Former Staff Writer at Victoria Buzz.

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