To Perform

By Lindsay Vogan, Halfmoon Bay and Victoria BC

Skulls, rusted old trucks, flower pots and push lawnmowers—all displayed with precision—but not what I expected to find on Gabriola. What about the countless evergreens arching over the narrow roads shedding their needles with every wisp of wind? Or the golden, treated log houses nestled away in the woods? Or the beach rock smoothed out with perfectly round holes and divots in it, carved out by decades of lapping waves? Sure, you can find those on Gabriola, but it’s the art at the end of an islander’s driveway that’s got me oddly intrigued.

 No need for maps, as most of them are slightly off anyways. Meandering roads that seem like they might connect to the veins of Gabriola—the North and South Roads—change from pavement to gravel, to pothole-laden dirt pathways. With a piece of large bone as its head and driftwood as its body, a heron-looking creation marks a driveway that is being digested by the disintegrating orange and yellow leaves of maple tree. An out of order push lawnmower, spray painted red with a flower box in the place of the cutter, welcomes visitors whisking by on North Road.

Now I won’t lie, what I saw at the corner of Fern and Seymour scared me. Elegantly protected by barbed wire, a rusty old yellow and red Ford truck with white Peace signs on its doors sat at that corner. It wasn’t the fact that it had been there so long that the earth appeared to be swallowing it, or that it contained a skeletal driver and passenger, one of which had red light bulbs in its eyes, that really began to make me nervous. What did me in was that the tail of an old airplane was injected in to the front engine of that old Ford truck, and resting at a modest 60-degree angle.

After staring at the truck-plane combination for a while, I realized it wasn’t scary, but really more of a performance shared by the homeowner. From abstract art, to retired push lawnmowers, to transportation creations, these performances are unique only to the beauty and eloquence that is Gabriola.

 View the next postcard, To Grow...