Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 28

FOCUS

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Vancouver Island is the northern reach of the Cooper's Hawk
(Accipiter cooperii) range. They are stalwart predators whose
agility in flight makes them a successful dominant breed in their
preferred dense woodland habitat. These fearless hawks are the
perfect metaphorical symbol of the heroic sacrifices made by the
men and women who were preparing to defend their Dominion.
Conceptually, the raptor feathers symbolize the spirit of these
fighting men and women who were training to be our nation's
airborne warriors and support teams. The monument evokes the
lofty ideals and romantic desire to fly in the early days of airplane
technology, considering that the Wright brother's first flight had
occurred just 35 years earlier.
Each feather stands 3.6 metres (12 feet) tall. Elements were
waterjet cut from Corten Steel plate which oxidizes (rusts)
permanently on its surface, to seal itself from the salty seaside
conditions and harsh winds. This rusty patina symbolizes and
marks the passage of time.
During the design process, in consultation with the community,
I was asked to create a place for the names of those honoured in
the memorial. The ideal location of the names was on the feathers
themselves, with the names of those who died in the same location
grouped together. Visitors are encouraged to walk in amongst the
feathers to closely examine the names, age and date of passing of
each individual.
The viewer's first encounter with the memorial is from a distance.
The vertical lines of the feathers begin to unfold as one moves
closer to the site, and they come into full focus as one reaches the
ridge of Hospital Hill. An allée of Red Maples frames the centre
walkway that leads visitors through the historic columns to the
centre of the site, where a circular, raised dais provides a focus for
official ceremonies, private reflection, or as a place to sit and rest
for the everyday passersby and plane spotters. As a respectful
gesture to the sanctity of the military families' deployment ritual,
28 LANDSCAPES | PAYSAGES

the dais and the matrix of feathers were laid out with unimpeded
view lines of the airport's main runway.
The raised dais is built with bricks salvaged from one of the original
air station buildings, which was a listed requirement of the RFP.
It functions as a time capsule, holding letters to veterans and
special mementoes from the local community. This time capsule
concept brought attention to the sculptural work, acknowledged
the rightful place of veterans in modern society, and created the
opportunity for the community to become involved and take
ownership of the memorial "Lost Airmen of the Empire."
As visitors leave the site along its formal axis, they look back past
the historic columns to see a more intimate space with a curved
bench and three additional Corten-steel feathers set against
the backdrop of an existing forest buffer. Sitting on this bench,
the viewer takes in the formal layout of the memorial site with its
progression through the trees, historic columns to the central dais,
the matrix of feathers and the view of the airfield beyond.
I was asked to be a part of organizing the opening ceremony and
worked alongside members of the airport stationed Sea King
Helicopter Squadron. My time spent as an air cadet in my youth
helped me to assist in organizing the ceremonial entrance march,
accompanied by bagpipes and Showing of the Colours. Following
speeches from dignitaries, politicians and me, a flypast of historic
WWII planes was carried out. It was a very moving ceremony
with many tears shed by those in attendance. The Squadron
Commander took active ownership of the Lost Airmen of the
Empire project and at the completion of the ceremony poignantly
said to me, "We do not forget our fallen."
Several years have passed since this work was completed, and
even now when I visit the site and walk down the formal allée, I am
engulfed by a distinct gravity, a heaviness filled with sadness. This
weight I feel is a tangible contradiction to these memorialized men
and women who were earnestly learning to defy gravity.
3 OPENING CEREMONY MILITARY FLYPAST OVER LOST AIRMEN OF THE
EMPIRE 4 VIEW ALONG FORMAL AXIS THROUGH HISTORICAL COLUMNS
TOWARDS LOST AIRMEN OF THE EMPIRE CENTRAL DAIS AND COOPER'S
HAWK FEATHERS. RED MAPLE ALLÉE IN FULL FALL COLOUR DISPLAY.
PHOTOS 3 ILLARION GALLANT 4 TWYLA RUSNAK



Landscapes - Spring 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Landscapes - Spring 2020

To Begin With | Pour Commencer
Our Writers | Nos Collaborateurs
Prologue > Fr_ en_lp+ Sweeping the Forest Floor
Interview | Entrevue the Star Is in the Ballpark > fr_lp+
“Gravitas” – The Lost Airmen of the Empire
Creating Sacred Spaces – Weaving the Memorial Landscape
Sacré Montagne
Curating Calm in the Spirit of Mandalay, Myanmar
Kapabamayak Achaak | Wandering Spirit Healing Forest
By Invitation Only – Inclusive Playground Design
Battle of Kapyong Memorial Plaza
L’essentiel Est Invisible > en_lp+
Critique
The Parting Shot | Une DernièRe Salve
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - Intro
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - cover1
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - cover2
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 3
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 4
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 5
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 6
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 7
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - To Begin With | Pour Commencer
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 9
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - Our Writers | Nos Collaborateurs
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 11
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 12
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 13
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - Prologue > Fr_ en_lp+ Sweeping the Forest Floor
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 15
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 16
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 17
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 18
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 19
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - Interview | Entrevue the Star Is in the Ballpark > fr_lp+
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 21
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 22
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 23
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 24
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 25
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - “Gravitas” – The Lost Airmen of the Empire
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 27
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 28
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - Creating Sacred Spaces – Weaving the Memorial Landscape
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 30
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 31
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 32
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - Sacré Montagne
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 34
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 35
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - Curating Calm in the Spirit of Mandalay, Myanmar
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 37
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 38
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 39
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - Kapabamayak Achaak | Wandering Spirit Healing Forest
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 41
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 42
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 43
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - By Invitation Only – Inclusive Playground Design
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 45
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 46
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - Battle of Kapyong Memorial Plaza
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 48
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 49
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 50
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - L’essentiel Est Invisible > en_lp+
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 52
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 53
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 54
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 55
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - Critique
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 57
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 58
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 59
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 60
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 61
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 62
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 63
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 64
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 65
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - The Parting Shot | Une DernièRe Salve
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - cover3
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - cover4
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - LPplus 1
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Landscapes - Spring 2020 - LPplus3
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Landscapes - Spring 2020 - LPplus11
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - LPplus12
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - LPplus13
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - LPplus14
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - LPplus15
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - LPplus16
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - LPplus17
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - LPplus18
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - LPplus19
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - LPplus20
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - LPplus21
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Landscapes - Spring 2020 - LPplus25
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