Myfanwy Macleod 2015
City of North Vancouver,
British Columbia, Canada
Material: Cast Bronze
"The Lady created for the Centerview public art project brings together two equally important yet seemingly separate subjects. As set out in the City of North Vancouver’s community vision, The Lady addresses how we can make our cities more livable for everyone. Secondly, The Lady which is based on a little-known incident from the history of British Columbia, draws our attention to one of more odd and curious events that make up our past. In 1862, Frank Laumeister, a veteran of the U.S. Camel Corps, bought several Bactrian camels from the U.S. Army after their unsuccessful attempt to use them as pack animals in the Southwest United States. He took his herd to the new Colony of British Columbia, where he used the animals to carry freight on the Douglas Road, Old Caribou Road and other gold rush-era routes there. Between the region’s rocky trails and roads, which cut up the camel’s feet, and the hostility between camels and the other animals (horses and mules), this experiment also failed. Afterwards, Laumeister put his camels out to pasture. However, some camels managed to escape. The last sighting of a feral camel in British Columbia took place sometime in the 1930s." - MM
In the fall of 2015, Canadian artist Myfanwy McLeod, no stranger to complex projects of significance, required a comprehensive team to fabricate her latest commission for North Vancouver, BC. Carvel Creatives extensive experience made this an ideal partnership.
The Lady, a life-size bronze tribute, draws on the tradition of the equestrian monument while questioning the heroic tradition it embodies. By replacing the horse’s majestic beauty for the atypical camel, the work challenges conventional representations of heroism − redefining the image we have of the Pacific Northwest and as a reminder that camels once lived there alongside caribou. Carvel Creative and the artist proceeded by researching the animal as reference for digital modelling. Utilizing ZBrush, Carvel produced several iterations before artist approval and structural engineering review inclusive of connection details and fabrication design. The camel’s basic form was milled from high density EPS foam prior to manual detailing. Carvel used a combination of sealing methodologies leading to texturing−applying fur texture and fine details found on a dromedary camel.
The plug was taken to a partner foundry for casting. Using the lost wax process, the foundry first generated molds to form the wax components, ceramic dipped and cast the pieces in bronze. The components were then welded and seamed together before the final patina coating, a mottled dark gold. On site in North Vancouver, Carvel’s experienced installation team efficiently offloaded the artwork, placed and leveled The Lady. She was removed for grouting, re-located and permanently anchored. Lastly, concrete was poured around the base and flooded up to the feet, suggesting the appearance of the camel having wandered onto the corner of Lonsdale and 13th Street.
At the foot of the monument, a bronze replica of a newspaper clipping is embedded, showcasing an advertisement for the sale of 25 camels; enticing viewers with a glimpse of history into this remarkable tale.