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Originally Published On:

July 31, 2018

Originally Published By:

Haliburton Sculpture Forest

Lament of the Mythical Sculptures

Written By:

Noelle Dupret Smith

I am Noelle Dupret Smith, this summer’s Sculpture Forest outreach coordinator. Over the next six weeks, I will be introducing and comparing sculptures of the Downtown Sculpture Project and the Sculpture Forest.

This week, I am featuring the interesting duo of Julie Campagna’s Weeping Gargoyle, located near the Bank of Montreal on Highland Street, and George Pratt’s Pan, in the Sculpture Forest. Both are mythical figures, both with interesting and sad stories.

The Weeping Gargoyle instantly brought to mind the eerie and alarming gargoyle scene in Ghostbusters. However, after doing some research, I learned that gargoyles are actually forces for good; placed on public buildings to ward off evil spirits—obviously misrepresented in Ghostbusters. Reason enough to weep! In the artist’s mind, the gargoyle is weeping for the state of the earth.

Pan, god of the forest in ancient Greece, has a different lament. Pan, who appears as a goat/man, was enamoured with Syrinx, a wood nymph.  She wasn’t interested! To avoid Pan, Syrinx had the water nymphs disguise her as a water reed. Pan searched for Syrinx, cutting down reeds in the hopes of finding her. Unsuccessful, he fashioned an instrument out of the reeds and tried to attract her with beautiful music. No luck. He is still alone playing his pipes; pining for Syrinx.

Please wander down main street of Haliburton and see the Downtown Sculpture exhibition of 6 sculptures and visit Haliburton Sculpture Forest. There are free tours of the Sculpture Forest, Tuesdays 10:00–11:30am and Wednesdays 12:10–12:50pm.

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