Tofino BC – Dear Westerly Thank you for your article concerning Godfrey Stephens sculpture Weeping Cedar Woman. Clearly this powerful and beautiful piece of work belongs in Tofino, Plain common sense states this. Without doubt anyone who has seen it and has witnessed its powerful effect in evoking a reverence towards the earth would understand this.
In Tofino, and particularly in reference to Godfrey Stephens, who is quite famous throughout the province, there is some veiled jealousy. There are also those who have always harboured animosity toward the environmental movement and thus the artists who support it. The artist bears this with equanimity: It’s part of the job. However time and history usually illuminates these trivialities quite clearly, and one should keep courage. Good or even great art is eventually recognized much to the chagrin and expense of underminers and detractors. Likewise cultural changes.
I and many others would like the council to display Cedar Woman proudly in a most prominent civic place, it will draw tourists, and will embody the spirit of the preservation of Meares Island by the people of Tofino and Canada.
Yes, many Tofinoites at the time of the Meares Island phenomena hated the environmentalists. It was a nasty time of cultural change. It was not an easy ride proposing that logging should not take place in the face of the JOBs JOBS JOBS “we gotta right to put meat on the table” crowd. Today many of the pro logging people are making a living from the changes that took place and leading better healthier lives, yet still can’t look cedar woman in the eye. I suggest Tofino council rise above these distractions.
Hmmm its a funny world…It would not be beyond imagination for maybe Ucluelet or Port Alberni to snap up Cedar Woman as a fabulous entrance-way sculpture for their own towns. Such a paradox would be a marvellous proof of how far values and West Coast culture has really shifted since those heady days when the slogans, “bugger a hugger” and “Mr. Clear Cut” were in vogue! “A Prophet has no honor in his own country” might read, “Cedar Woman has no home on the West Coast”… yet.
Thank you sincerely