Giant metal flower blooms in Esquimalt after unexpected love story
ESQUIMALT -- Before we find out how a giant metal flower started blooming in this Esquimalt front yard, we have to go back to when a giant metal hippo-vehicle stared driving elsewhere.
“It’s really fun! It’s a little dangerous!” Stacey laughs about the process of welding the metal together for both projects. “There’s a big thrill that comes with it for sure!”
Stacey worked with a team of artists on both projects. The man who created the lighting for the hippo was named Adam.
“I always had a crush on him,” Stacey admits with a smile.
At one point they lived just two blocks away from each other in Calgary. But they never got together before he moved to Victoria.
“There was a spark before I left,” Adam says. “But it [felt like] the one that got away.”
“When we lost touch, I thought, ‘Oh well, lost that one!’” Stacey says.
Stacey was focused on creating the flower anyway. She worked with a group of fellow artists to transform it into a fire-cannon that shoots a 15-foot flame.
“[It sounds like] this giant whoosh!” Stacey laughs as she makes the sound of the fire erupting. “It’s really fun!”
The whoosh, and the sculptures surrounding it, earned “awes” at festivals from Calgary to Vancouver before blooming in Nevada at Burning Man.
“I heard through some of my friends that they’d run into him,” Stacey says, not expecting Adam to be at Burning Man too. “I thought, 'Hm...isn’t that interesting?'”
Adam just happened to be there with his own work. Although it was being displayed kilometres away from Stacey’s, they found themselves at the same party together one night. There, they realized that despite not seeing each other for a few years, they felt the same connection as before.
“It was the butterflies in your stomach kind of thing,” Stacey smiles.
“It kind of lit a spark in your heart,” Adam recalls thinking. “This could be a cool possibility.”
The possible turned definite and after a year of doing the long distant thing, Stacey moved to the island and brought the floral flamethrower with her.
They originally planned to put it in the backyard.
“Why should we hide it [there]? Let’s put it in the front,” Adam recalls saying. “It’s beautiful!”
“I wish I could do it for you,” Stacey tells me.
Alas, the thing that makes the flower go "whoosh" is not currently installed for safety reasons.
While the flower may not be burning right now, Stacey and Adam are producing their own flame – an ever-blooming, always-burning love.