The City of Abbotsford has a rich and diverse history. Abbotsford’s landscape has been shaped by its’ natural resources, including lumber and berry farms, as well as the railway line. The lumber and the manufacturing process of wood have been a major employer in the region. Part of Abbotsford’s success is the notion of a “community within a community”. The Auxiliary fire fighters, whom volunteer their time, embody this concept of a “community within a community”.
Our art installation draws on the rich history of the community, from the choice of materials and installation techniques, to the contributions of construction materials from local businesses, to the specific site location within the larger context of Abbotsford. The concept is to pay tribute to the contributions of the fire department and their community, within the community of Abbotsford- to generate a creative and inspiring image of the volunteer fire fighter. The kneeling fire fighter with axe is formed via materials found within the historic environment of Matsqui. The old weathered spikes were sourced from the local railway yard and adhere to a rigid grid pattern, to form the image of the fire fighter. Holes were laser cut, the spikes were cut and plug welded to the corten steel “canvas”. Due to the limitations of the existing wooden railway ties, sheets of corten steel were cut and etched to mimic the wooden railway tie, including wood grain, height and depth. As the sculpture ages, the colour, patina and texture will change and evolve, with the influences of the natural elements of the place.
We would like to thank the following for their contributions:
- Structural Engineering Services: Bush, Bohlman & Partners LLP, Vancouver, BC
- Donation of Railway Spikes: PNR RailWorks Inc, Abbotsford, BC
- Steel Fabrication of Art Piece: Steeltec Industries Ltd, Chilliwack
- Site Works and assistant Steel Fabrication: Unitech Construction Management