A walk thru the Sculpture Forest in Haliburton slideshow


by terrance gavan – posted May 8 – 2012

Just before embarking on a small trill thru the Haliburton Sculpture Forest I went to the source.

Source you ask.

Yes. I phoned the curator and he answered on the first ring. No I don’t think the curator of the beautiful Haliburton Sculpture Trail, Jim Blake, actually lives in the forest.

And no you won’t find his phone number on the kiosk where this lovely traipse with nature begins.

Aha! You ask, as I did with my curling skip, Jim Blake this afternoon: Whither this trail?

Well, here’s a little tale of trail which we are finding hard to come to grips with here at Terrance’s Tourism Tidbits.

I arrived here in Haliburton from the Canadian Rockies on July 1 2002.

I live within a stone’s throw of the Glebe Park trails. They are, just so you’ll know, dear readers, located on the campus of Fleming College right here in Haliburton.

And today we undertook a journey, Billie Jean and I, for the first time thru the splendidly pawed dirt of the Sculpture trail.

I had my iPhone with me and you may view our step by step melange via the sidebar on the right hand side of The SHR!KE.ca website. or you may also view the slideshow right here on this page.

I was inspired by a talk Mr. Blake gave at a conference last year and that can be found here.

Our trip today was accompanied by much tugging from the black canine who as it turns out only enjoys sculpture for what they provide in the way of dog smells. She is a female, but still likes to mark the ground and the sculptures, because you know, that’s what dogs do.

I did pick up after her in the way mandated by the county and the municipality of Dysart et al.

We might suggest more places set aside for trash collection, but that’s another topic on another less inspiring day.

Because the Sculpture Forest is not a nice walk spoiled. That’s for golf. And Samuel Clemens. This trip through the woods was more like a dappled pirouette with nature juxtapposed I suppose with the clothes of the naked eye.

A breadth of breath and a moment’s shake.

Hewers of Wood

George Grant once said… 

That we are but hewers of wood and drawers of water

Lamenting for a Nation GG was not imbued with an overly sympathetic view of

Canada and the state of our path, which he thought strayed

away from our true north moccasin step

and toward an hegemony of stars, stripes and ersatz 

he lamented the loss of strong and free … strength and freedom

and our inevitable teeter totter toward an outport where identity is swallowed by 

a neighbor’s nudge.

And in 1965 he penned 97 pages of grief

And despaired for our loss

But George was not artist

merely a bottom line philosopher

who was not enamored of art as a salving force

and art as a saving grace

and art as the true cement of culture

So he did not … rather he could not… fathom the music and the art and

the group of Seven’s rumpled trump

So we walk through the Sculpture Forest and 

we don’t lament like George whose own familial ties went to 

the Ignatieff clan and whose relative Mikey

an admirer of Canadiana, art and the power of the 

hewn log, drawn legacy and wooden rebuttal to that lament


no lament today

Just a walk in the woods with 

a Canadian identity 

rough as the hewn granite, 

that draws us apart from 

those large footprints left by neighbors… straggling south

Laura Secord you see

is not about the chocolate

but speaks to history 

and character 

and paths in the woods

that stymied an empire that would swallow us up

SHR!KE.ca get us at gav@haliburtonnews.ca


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