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Originally Published On:

August 22, 2017

Originally Published By:

Haliburton Echo


Written By:

Angus Sullivan

Pan was created by George Pratt in 2003.

“Pan” is a startling sculpture to find in the sculpture forest. It is difficult to make out what the thing leaning against a tree and playing the flute actually is. The fellow has horns, hoofs, and the face of a goat, but it sits against the tree and plays an instrument like a human. This puzzling figure is the Greek god Pan. Pan was the god of the wild, shepherds and flocks. He also had the pleasure of being half goat and half human. Pratt’s interpretation of the fellow is more goat than human.

Pan would often chase after the beautiful wood nymphs that strayed into the forests where he lived. He was especially fond of one nymph named Syrinx. Syrinx, put off by Pan’s startling appearance, would often run away from his advances. One day, while pursued by Pan, she ran to the river and begged the river nymphs to hide her. Just as Pan was about to catch her, they turned her into a water reed and hid her among the reeds in the river.

The story goes that after hearing the wind blow through the reeds, the frustrated Pan plucked some reeds and fashioned them into a musical instrument. He named the instrument the Syrinx, but it later became known as the Pan flute. Pratt’s sculpture shows Pan playing his distinctive flute hoping Syrinx will hear the music and come to him.

The sculpture was carved out of a 19 000 pound block of salt and pepper granite. In the process of carving the sculpture, Pratt removed more than 7000 pounds of stone. This is even more impressive when you take into account that he accomplished this feat carving outside in Haliburton in the middle of black fly season.

The Haliburton Sculpture Forest is located in Glebe Park on 297 College Drive. This unique collection of 36 sculptures by Canadian and international artists is open to the public, dawn to dusk, for your own discovery. Free guided tours occur on Tuesdays (10:00-11:00) and Wednesdays (12:10-12:50) in July and August. You can use the sculpture forest app (download PocketSights and search for Haliburton) or visit the website to learn more about the sculptures.

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