The Mystery of the Bust, Part 1

Maddie Leach’s practice is rooted in a rigorous approach that involves historical research, hours spent in libraries and archives, and lots of good ol’ fashioned legwork. For her second stay at the Burrard Marina Field House, Maddie continues her work on a Vancouver-specific new commission. What began with a journey down the Fraser River last summer has now developed into an investigation into the lost history of a bust of Simon Fraser.

Memorial_New

Simon Fraser monument

Located on the quay in New Westminster, the bust has proven to be an elusive object to locate historically—and I mean that literally. Though the plinth on which it stands was first raised in 1908 in Albert Crescent Park (next to Pattullo Bridge), it wasn’t until three years later that the bust was added. Over the following decades, the monument was re-located to several different sites and even modified. The original granite plinth was cut down, and the discarded block was first stored with the city before disappearing.

The current version on the quay includes a plaque marked with the year 1988. But when and where Simon Fraser has been in those intervening 70 years is still a mystery. Stay tuned while Maddie uncovers the past.

New Zealand artist Maddie Leach is currently based in Gothenburg, Sweden. For more information about her previous work, visit http://www.maddieleach.net. 

–Ines

 

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