Turning trees into works of art

Dave Stewart
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A 1,500-pound statue of Robin Hood now stands at the eastern entrance to Charlottetown, just off St. Peters Road.

Aboriginal artist Levi Cannon has been hired by the City of Charlottetown to turn some diseased trees that have been cut down into public art. His first effort is a statue of Robin Hood.

Dutch elm disease is devastating trees in Charlottetown but one man is making sure at least some good comes from it.

The City of Charlottetown has hired aboriginal artist Levi Cannon to turn some of those diseased trees into works of art and his first attempt has turned quite a few heads in the neighbourhood of Sherwood.

A 1,500-pound statue of Robin Hood now stands at the eastern entrance to Charlottetown, just off St. Peters Road.

"This is a first for me. It's the first time I've done a full anatomy,'' Cannon said in an interview beside the statue. "I'm more of a native carver, ceremonial things than a full-sized (statue) like this.''

Cannon said he only started doing wood carvings 12 years ago.

It all started back in March. Mayor Clifford Lee took a look at some of Cannon's work with the 2009 Canada Summer Games at UPEI and thought the aboriginal artist's gift could be put to more good use.

"The reason we did Robin Hood is because (in) the neighbourhood of Sherwood, Robin Hood is very much associated with the history (of the community).'' Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee

"It's a concept that's been talked about for a couple of seasons with the city,'' Lee said. "We're cutting down trees. Unfortunately, the majority of trees that are coming down are coming down because they have the Dutch elm disease.''

Lee said, as is the case in other jurisdictions, diseased trees are being preserved and turned into public art.

"The reason we did Robin Hood is because (in) the neighbourhood of Sherwood, Robin Hood is very much associated with the history (of the community).''

In fact, the character is still a part of the Sherwood signage.

 

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Peters Road, Canada West Royalty Notre Dame

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  • How much
    August 24, 2010 - 12:03

    How many taxpayer dollars went into that? How many PNP units? ONE TERM GOVERNMENT!!!!!!!

  • Terry Hunter
    August 24, 2010 - 11:37

    Fantastic idea. A good suggestion for another carving for Charlottetown would be one of Capt Frederick Thorton Peters who was the only Islander to win the Victoria Cross and also fought in both World Wars. Peters also won the Distinguished Service Order and the Distinguished Service Cross along with many other decorations but was unfortunately killed in an aircraft crash on his way to be awarded the VC from King George VI. For some reason, there is no statue of Peters on PEI honouring this great naval hero and it certainly would be a great honour to him to have one carved in the same year as our last First World War Veteran died since Stratford chose not to name their new elementary school after him.

  • errol smith
    August 24, 2010 - 10:26

    I think this is fantastic however it begs the question,how long before some idiot or idiots destroy Robin for the simple reason it's there for people to enjoy.

    • Jonathan
      August 24, 2010 - 11:55

      I like the idea of using these trees for something other then fire wood, but I question why the city isn't using the money it is spending on this to vaccinate the existing trees that are left in the city to protect them from being infected. UPEI is currently vaccinating its elm trees to prevent them from being infected. Charlottetown has had great success with its adopt a corner beautification program, why not an adopt a tree program, as these large trees are equally important to the aesthetic appeal of the city.