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Old 03-31-2008, 09:26 AM
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danielswalsh danielswalsh is offline
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Default Vancouver's upside down church could be removed...

Although my friends here on TrekEarth probably know me as being based in Singapore, I'm a proud Canuck through and through- and Vancouver is one of my favorite cities in the world.

During a trip home a couple years ago I happened across a unique sight- a church. Not just any old church though- an upside down one! Unfortunately I didn't have my camera- however our always talented TrekEarth members came through as these images attest to; Fighting Evil,Gift from God.

Coal Harbour is currently home to this unique scuplture- however not for long as this article from "The Province Newspaper" currently states...

"Upside-down church sculpture on hit list
BY CHRISTINA MONTGOMERY
VANCOUVER REPORTER

Vancouverites may not know art, but they know what they want in their public parks — and it apparently doesn’t include a sculpture of a church driven upside-down into the ground by its steeple.
The controversial Coal Harbour sculpture, titled Device to Root Out Evil, is on the hit list in a report heading for the parks board next week.
If the board approves the staff recommendation, the seven-storey sculpture could be carted off within 60 days.
The work, the creation of American artist Dennis Oppenheim, was placed in Harbour Green Park on Cordova Street as part of the Vancouver Biennale sculpture festival in 2005.
It was put on display for 18 months under the board’s standard terms for public-art displays, and critics of the piece have been assured the display was only short-term.
But it has now been offered on loan to the city for an extended period — much to the horror of some area residents, who made impassioned pleas to the board to remove the work that offends both their religious and aesthetic sensibilities.

Another of the 2005 works proved more popular. The board will debate making finding a permanent spot for the piece known as Echoes. The stainless-steel chairs, each with an evocative word etched into their seats, have been on display at Sunset Beach.
The staff report recommends against extending Device’s 18-month period and notes that “public response to the work has been mixed, with a greater proportion of the response being negative.” It also says that “a technical analysis of the siting has determined the work is not comfortably accommodated for an extended period.”
Complaints included that the piece blocked views of the water and took up too much of the tiny green space on which it sits. Other residents said it simply offended their Christian beliefs to see a church turned upside-down.
Michaela Frosch, chairwoman of the Vancouver Biennale, has said the group is working with the foundation that owns it to find another public setting.

[email protected]"

I thought some of you might find this of interest..
All the best!
- Dan
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Old 03-31-2008, 10:11 PM
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AdrianW AdrianW is offline
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Default Re: Vancouver's upside down church could be removed...

Hi Dan,

I'd never seen that before, but I think it's great; it's just so surreal :D

Heck I might even consider visiting Vancouver again just to see it! I can't believe they'd even consider removing it...

Thanks for drawing it to my attention,

Adrian
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Old 03-31-2008, 10:58 PM
Merline Merline is offline
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Default Re: Vancouver's upside down church could be removed...

To me it would be a scandal if this work of art was removed. Does being religious go with having no sense of humour ? It's a lovely work. I protest against removing this, is there some petition I could sign. Thinking of coming around this summer...

Michèle
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Old 04-01-2008, 09:22 PM
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Default Re: Vancouver's upside down church could be removed...

Well I think it would be sad to see it go - it is very well placed and such a surprising view when you first encounter it from the Coal Harbour side and great against the buildings behind - particularly the large black high rise. I know some of the people working in Vancouver who could be responsible for its siting and I can imagine their reactions.

You just make me homesick for a place I'll probably never live in Dan......such a soft spot for the space.

best wishes Kev
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Old 04-01-2008, 11:18 PM
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Default Re: Vancouver's upside down church could be removed...

I would also be interested in a petition. Karen
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Old 04-02-2008, 01:38 AM
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Default UPDATE

"Hollow Tree is now history
PARKS: Board also votes to remove controversial upside-down sculpture
BY CHRISTINA MONTGOMERY
VANCOUVER REPORTER

Two Vancouver landmarks — one natural, ancient and beloved, one man-made, new and widely reviled — are about to bite the dust.
The city’s parks board voted last night to take down the 1,000-yearold Stanley Park stump known as the Hollow Tree.

Staff had advised that recent storm damage had fractured the remains of the red cedar sufficiently that it posed a hazard to the locals and tourists who flock to it for photos.
An engineering report could find only one way to keep the tree standing — a cumbersome girdle of external supports that both the board and tree fans agreed was grotesque.

The board also voted to remove a seven-storey sculpture that was placed in Harbour Green Park in 2005.'Device to Root out Evil', a sculpture of an aluminum church driven into the ground by its steeple, drew mostly negative comment last year when the board contemplated making permanent what was originally an 18-month installation.

Many people argued that it blocked sight lines down Bute Street of the water and mountains; others were offended by what they called its anti-religious nature.

Both votes took place before a capacity crowd that jeered both decisions.

Michella Frosch, chairwoman of the group that brought the Device to Vancouver in 2005 as part of the Biennale outdoor sculpture festival, warned the board that the “important” and “significant” work might be lost to another city if it was voted out of Coal Harbour.

Eleanor Hadley, a West End resident and regular critic of board policy, branded the work “obscene” and “a mockery of our religion and faith.”
The board voted to have the sculpture removed within 60 days but asked staff to try to find another site in the city to house it.

Critics of the decision to topple the Hollow Tree were equally vehement.
Meg Stanley, a Stanley Park historian, argued that the tree, which died years ago, is now less a tree than a piece of pop art “created by the citizens of Vancouver” by adopting it as a site for photographs.

Stanley also argued that the tree’s Parks Canada heritage designation meant the federal agency should have been consulted about a solution that would leave it standing.
The board voted, without attaching a timeline, to cut the tree down, lay its halves out for public display and plant a single memorial cedar in the ring left behind.

[email protected]"

- Do any Vancouverites have a shot of the Hollow Tree in mention?
Cheers,
- Dan
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Old 04-02-2008, 03:40 AM
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Default Re: Hollow Tree

I actually have a photo of the Hollow Tree, taken in the mid-1990's. I'll see if I can find a scanner. The picture is not of good quality. The "stump" is about 40 feet tall, pretty much hollow, and open on one side.
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Old 04-02-2008, 04:18 AM
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Default Re: Hollow Tree

Hi Lamberto;

You are correct- that is the one.... THANKS!

All the best,
- Dan
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Old 04-02-2008, 04:57 AM
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Default Re: Hollow Tree

Hi Dan,

I'll post it anyway. I believe it is; the entire core is hollow throughout, and one side is gone. I don't think you can drive a car THROUGH it, but you sure can drive a car INTO it. Or maybe the stump has rotten away so badly in the last dozen years that you can drive a car through it, who knows? Anyway, you'll see when I post it, and let me know if it's the one or not.

Best regards,
Lamberto
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Old 04-02-2008, 05:48 AM
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danielswalsh danielswalsh is offline
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Default Re: Hollow Tree

Okay Lamberto... it's the tree in the middle of a road (each lane of traffic goes around it).

Cheers,
- Dan
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