History shapes Craigflower Bridge artwork

Metal art installation expected to be installed on Craigflower Bridge by October

Blake Williams is currently fabricating the Bridging Perspectives art installation in his Vancouver studio that is designed for Craigflower Bridge.

Blake Williams is currently fabricating the Bridging Perspectives art installation in his Vancouver studio that is designed for Craigflower Bridge.

The legacy of the Craigflower Farm and Schoolhouse continues to mark the Admirals Road crossing of Gorge Waterway as the theme for a massive new metal art installation coming to Craigflower Bridge.

Artist Blake Williams of Vancouver won Saanich’s competition entitled Bridging Perspectives. He’s  currently finishing the fabrication process.

“It’s a steel frame and structure, people will interpret the [piece] in different ways,” said Williams, who is known to work with kiln-fired ceramic porcelain and glass surfaces. “The idea is it’s a curving form that I thought was a metaphor for the curving of the Gorge as it moves inland from the Inner Harbour.”

Williams visited Saanich for Gorge on Art Day and the Gorge Canada Day Picnic, where he interacted with locals and also spent time in the Saanich booth passing out information on the project.

“It will have an image of a tree on one side, and within the tree, which is based on a Garry oak, are stories inscribed with text from research on the feelings and experiences of the people (here),” Williams said.

The ‘unfurling’ metal frame should be pleasing to the eye, and will sit with an off-balance twist. It will sit in a gathering area on the northeast side of the bridge.

“One person I talked to said he used to fish off the bridge with his kids and now brings his grandchildren to do the same,” Wiliams added.

Saanich’s request for proposal closed in March. Williams’ piece should be installed by October.

Saanich put up about $30,000 for the project, roughly $5,000 for administration costs and $25,000 to the artist.

The art installation is supported by the Gorge Tillicum Community Association, which desired the Craigflower Bridge’s restoration reflect its historical significance.

“We pushed for art on the bridge because it’s a place [as opposed to a thoroughfare],” said GTCA president Rob Wickson. “We wanted it to be a gateway with historical significance so that people know they’re coming into a neighbourhood. Ninety per cent of the vehicles [on Admirals] are driving through, and we want them to recognize if you want to drive through you’ve got to respect our neighbourhood and the quality of life for the people who live here.”

Wickson said the GTCA wanted to see more done in terms of art, such as the repurposing of old pieces of the bridge as benches or furniture, a little of which was done on the new Craigflower.

“Why stop there?” Wickson asked. “Why can’t we write a palindrome along the barrier that we can read going both ways?”

Local bridges have lost their significance as crossings, or places, and have instead become nothing more than roadways, Wickson added. In fact, Craigflower is one of the few historic bridges in the area still referred to by its proper name. Victoria’s Point Ellis Bridge, for example, is better known these days as the Bay Street bridge. And in Saanich, the Gorge Bridge has become the Tillicum Road bridge.

“The Gorge Bridge is one of the most historical sites in the region and now it’s more of a four-lane freeway that’s difficult to ride a bike across. We didn’t want that. We wanted heritage.”





Just Posted

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
University of Victoria researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of June 6-12. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
New COVID-19 cases up on Island, but health officials say trends going right way

There were 22 new COVID-19 cases in Greater Victoria last week after just four the week before

Emergency health services treated a person after they were blocking traffic at the intersection of Fort and Douglas Streets on June 17. (Evert Lindquist/ News Staff)
Victoria intersection traffic returns to normal after protester blocked roadway

A person in a motorized wheelchair was blocking the intersection at Fort and Douglas Streets

Eric White’s roadside farm stand in Metchosin sits stocked with produce. (Photo courtesy of Eric White)
Fledgling Metchosin farmer frustrated by thefts from stand

Eric White said every dollar made at the roadside helps sustain his farm

Saanich police took a suspect into custody after a store employee on Cedar Hill Cross Road was assaulted Wednesday afternoon. (Black Press Media file photo)
Employee assaulted at Saanich store after asking suspected shoplifters to leave

June 16 incident saw worker taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of June 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

Most Read