A beloved community art piece has disappeared from a Colwood neighbourhood.
The knitted octopus that was wrapped around a utility pole along Metchosin Road has been missing from its spot since Monday (July 13).
“You can’t just whip up something like that overnight,” said Colwood artist Cecelia Penner, who poured between 40 to 50 hours into the piece. “I feel so jaded now. Nobody had touched it or damaged it in nearly 10 years of making these and I’m disappointed that people would take it.”
Penner left her home for two hours Monday afternoon, but returned around 3 p.m. to find that the sea creature she’d been working on since the spring was gone. She asked her neighbours in a Facebook post when they last saw the octopus, and has narrowed down the time of the heist to between 2:30 and 3 p.m.
Penner started using knitted utility pole sleeves as a creative way to help spot her home from the roadway. Instead of reflectors, she has sewn poppies for Remembrance Day, blooming flowers during spring and a Christmas-inspired sleeve during the holidays.
She’s been touched by the honks from motorists as she changes the sleeve, and the casual compliments from passersby. Once, she found a note and gift certificate from a Metchosin resident who admired the art Penner brought to the neighborhood.
Given the octopus theft, she’s considering cutting her losses and moving on.
“I don’t want to put anything else back up,” said Penner, who switches the sleeve five to six times a year. “It was out for just two weeks before it was taken. Please just bring it back.”