Ian Lowe, a Royston Coast Salish metal artist gifted this piece he created named Resilience to B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. Photo submitted.

Vancouver Island artist gifts B.C.’s health officer with symbolic hummingbird

A special connection brought the piece to Dr. Bonnie Henry’s desk in Victoria

So much for Ian Lowe in the past few months has come down to timing.

The Royston Coast Salish metal artist began working full time in January on his metal sculptures following 30 years in the welding and fabricating industry.

He primarily works on various commissioned pieces made from high-grade stainless steel but does have some of his work featured in the Butchart Gardens in Victoria. His Sea Otter – Keeper of the Kelp Forest piece is also featured at Land & Sea Brewing Co. in Comox.

RELATED: ‘The Ballad of Bonnie Henry’ recorded and released

In late March, Lowe began working on a hummingbird and took a break for lunch and to watch the daily COVID-19 briefing from B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

“I started watching and noticed she was wearing a blouse that was covered in (a hummingbird pattern). I thought this was perfect – I need to pay this forward.”

Lowe continued with the piece with the health officer in mind. Once the piece was complete, he was determined to find a way to gift the sculpture to Henry.

“I had tried to phone (local political offices) and took a bunch of different avenues but it’s much harder to get a hold of her then you might imagine. I almost gave up.”

Just as Lowe was re-examining his options, he decided to post a bike for sale on Craigslist. He connected with the buyer who happened to work in North Island – Powell River MP Rachel Blaney’s office who was able to assist him to make the contact.

“It’s like I almost willed it to happen,” he added.

A few weeks after he sent the piece to Victoria he received an email from Henry thanking him.

RELATED: Pandemic brings success to Vancouver Island artist carving COVID masks

“I have the sculpture in my office and look at in wonder every day,” she noted in her emailed reply to him. “It is a bright spot in my day and reminds me of the beauty in the world.”

Lowe said it was just what he expected her to say.

“She’s so down to earth and calm and caring. She touches so many people and has the ability to connect to so many.”

The piece, named Resilience, has a special meaning for the Coast Salish. Lowe said it represents pure love and joy and it is symbolic of those who travel great distances and respond quickly.

For more information about Lowe’s work, visit lowetidedesign.ca

For more news from the Island and beyond delivered directly to your email inbox, click here.



photos@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Nanaimo sees Island’s first nurse practitioner primary care clinic

Nexus Primary Care Clinic opened in late June in south end

Nanaimo chef the Sensitive Vegan takes tongue-in-cheek approach to serious cooking

Jesse Rubboli creates cassava-based recipes and shares them via YouTube and on social media

Oak Bay pandemic project gets 300 submissions

Gage Gallery exhibit shows how people cope during crisis

Garden-sharing map connects Victoria landowners and gardeners

U-Map created by Young Agrarians after COVID-19 created uptick in garden matching requests

Saanich wins award for climate plan cut from 2020 budget

‘It’s truly an exceptional plan,’ says councillor disappointed with lack of funding

QUIZ: A celebration of dogs

These are the dog days of summer. How much do you know about dogs?

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Nanaimo RCMP ask for help finding missing 19-year-old

Haley Murphy has not been seen since Tuesday, June 30, say police

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Most Read