The Lady – North Vancouver, Canada
In the fall of 2015, Canadian artist Myfanwy Macleod, no stranger to complex projects of significance, required a comprehensive team to fabricate her latest commission for North Vancouver, BC. Carvel Creative’s extensive experience made this an ideal partnership.
The inspiration for The Lady came from a legend detailing the import of camels to be used as pack animals during the Caribou gold rush of 1862. The camels were later sent off to pasture due to their lack of social integration and their inability to traverse the rocky terrain.
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 moulds 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.