'Octopus Woman' statue making waves in Oak Bay
A model of 'Octeavina,' the bronze sculpture being proposed to sit atop of an Oak Bay Rock. (District of Oak Bay)
Published Thursday, March 14, 2019 3:11PM PDT
Last Updated Thursday, March 14, 2019 3:26PM PDT
A salmon on a bike wheel. A dog balancing on a cylinder. A massive nose. These are just some of the art pieces that have lined Oak Bay’s streets without much opposition.
But a new proposal for a five-foot bronze statue on an Oak Bay rock is causing some commotion. So much so that Oak Bay staff are recommending council amend its public art policy regarding where art can be located.
"We’ve had a fair amount of feedback," said Warren Jones, Oak Bay’s Director of Corporate Services. "Most of it, not all, but most of it has been centered around the location of the rock with people saying we should leave it in its natural state."
The rock in question is located in the bay between Haynes Park and Queens’ Park overlooking the Oak Bay Marina. According to Warren, the rock was pegged as a possible location by Oak Bay’s Arts Committee along with a generous donor who offered to pay for the "iconic seaside sculpture."
Last fall, artists were asked to submit proposals for a "Sea Lore" inspired sculpture that would be a permanent and treasured landmark in the community.
The winning proposal called "Octeavina" came from Fred Dobbs, an award-winning sculptor whose has created sculptures for Oak Bay in the past.
Projected to be about five-feet in length and made out of bronze, it shows what Mayor Kevin Murdoch calls an "octopus woman" drinking a cup of tea.
A maquette made out of clay was put on display for the public to weigh in.
Although some residents did not like the design, Oak Bay staff say the biggest concern was the rock.
"It’s caused a lot of consternation," said Murdoch. It now appears the rock is poised to be removed from consideration as a possible location for "Octeavina" and all other pieces of art.
Staff are recommending council amend its public art policy to include a requirement that all Oak Bay owned-art be located on land owned by Oak Bay.
It’s also be recommended that staff work with Oak Bay’s Arts Laureate to identify other possible locations for the sculpture.
The issue is scheduled to be discussed at a Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday, March 18 at 7 p.m.