A new location will be found for the “Sea Lore” sculpture after controversy erupted around the first proposed location of a rock off the Oak Bay shore. (Photos Oakbay.ca/Fred Dobbs)

The rock is no more for Oak Bay ‘Sea Lore’

Council calls for change to controversial location proposed for art installation

The “Sea Lore” sculpture that was proposed to sit atop a rock off the shores of Oak Bay, will be finding a new home after council decided Monday to have all art installations be land-bound.

The decision comes after significant public push-back arose from the proposed location – a rock below the high water mark in Oak Bay that can be viewed along the sea wall.

Some residents went as far as proposing that the bay which holds the rock be “designated a Natural Heritage site and protected and preserved as a rare example of a small bit of urban wild coast,” in order to stop the statue from being placed in the inter tidal zone.

The concerns varied from aesthetics of the natural view, to the piece interfering with sea life and wildlife that use the rock in question.

RELATED: LETTER: Art shouldn’t disrupt nature

The backlash was primarily about the placement as opposed to the piece itself, which was jury-selected after a $50,000 donation from a 96-year-old resident spurred a call for submissions.

Out of 32 submissions, the jury selected “Octeavina” by Lisa McCulloch (designer) and Fred Dobbs (sculptor) – inspired by the maritime character of Oak Bay. The artists were not involved with the placement decision.

As the rock is under provincial jurisdiction, a proposal for a licence to occupy was before the provincial government; however, with council’s decision on Monday, the provincial proposal is dead in the water.

RELATED: Potential statue slated for Oak Bay beach draws early criticism

Council unanimously agreed Monday with a report from the Director of Corporate Services that another site on District-owned lands should be identified for the placement of the sculpture, which District staff will work on with Arts Laureate Barbara Adams.

Council will also look to amend the Public Art Policy to require that art be installed on lands owned or controlled by the District of Oak Bay and have the Parks, Recreation and Culture Commission work with the Public Art Committee to make process and locating guidelines for public art in Oak Bay.

“I think we are ahead of the curve in terms of where we thought we’d be at this point with the number of art pieces. We’ve had great art and wonderful support from buyers,” said Mayor Kevin Murdoch. “Some good points were raised here though. We just need to go away and firm up policies, plan for how many temporary and permanent pieces we want, because none of that has been established.”

The new policies are expected to come forward in the fall.

RELATED: Resident explores heritage designation to halt art placement in Oak Bay

As for “Sea Lore,” artists McCulloch and Dobbs continue to fine tune the design.


 

keri.coles@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich police see spike in excessive speeding compared to previous years

Nearly 100 excessive speeders caught since January 2020

Colwood branch drop-off to continue throughout summer

COVID-19 safety measures remain in place

Welcome to grilling season: Saanich firefighter talks barbecue safety tips

Grills should be cleaned, serviced prior to use, firefighter says

Cycling scavenger hunt comes to Tweed City

Cyclists scour Oak Bay for clues in Bike to Work Week event

Colwood woman launches Adopt a Grad

Facebook page aims to support students during pandemic

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

$200,000 Maybach impounded after ‘L’ driver caught excessively speeding in Vancouver

Meanwhile, the supervisor sat in the passenger seat, police said

Most Read