Bill Reid’s Killer Whale – Vancouver Vignette 1

Yesterday I returned for the first time in several years to the Aquarium site in Vancouver’s Stanley Park. I continue to have my concerns of the politics of the Aquarium, but not of the quality and relevance of its research. Upon a time I worked with, if not for, the Aquarium, and my wife for some time was a docent there.

Also upon a time, when I was the executive director of the Vancouver Museum, I had hoped to exhibit, on the centenary of the museum, Bill Reid’s Jade Canoe. The Jade Canoe was completed by Reid in 1994, and intended for showing at the museum in 1995. But the Museum was strike-bound, and the City impassive. And in 1996, the Jade Canoe was moved to the departures area of the airport.

And so I only got to admire, more frequently and more closely for many months than any one else in Canada, the sculpture from the windows near my office and round the courtyard where the Canoe was isolated.

And so I was, as I always am, glad to see once more Reid’s 1984 “Killer Whale” in the plaza fronting the Aquarium. It was a sunny day, and the light was right.

His artistry shines.


Bill Reid, Killer Whale (1984). 5 June 2016. (Photo: Hendrik Slegtenhorst)

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