I am very excited to be working on the Captain Cook Sculpture for the City of Corner Brook, Newfoundland. This project started almost three years ago when Tract Consulting, a landscape firm based in St. John's, NL invited me to submit a proposal for the sculpture as part of their bid for the Captain Cook Park redevelopment. The bid was successful, however the City of Corner Brook decided not to fund the sculpture directly. Subsequently a volunteer committee was formed with a mandate to raise C$250,000. The $70,000 so far raised has allowed me to do research, make preliminary drawings and produce a maquette in bronze. I am now developing a full size clay sculpture, which will lead to the eventual seven foot six inches tall statue.
The focus of the sculpture is on James Cook's work in Newfoundland. In attempting to portray him at a younger age I have inferred physical and psychological characteristics from the portraits of him by Nathaniel Dance (now at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich) and by John Webber (now at the National Portrait Gallery, London). In my version Cook is standing, surveying the Bay of Islands with a quadrant. Cook's survey of the coastline of Newfoundland is a relatively lesser known chapter of his illustrious career compared to the Pacific voyages. However, not only did his work here hone his already admirable seafaring, surveying and organizational skills, but it was also representative of some of the fundamental tenets of the 18th century Enlightenment, namely that observation and measurement were the stepping stones toward our understanding and mastering of our surroundings. This is the spirit of James Cook that I am hoping to encapsulate in the bronze statue.
Almost 20 years ago I came to this province in Canada as a refugee. Now, in hindsight, I can't help but think that Newfoundland became my home, among many other reasons, because of Captain Cook. His charts became the foundation for the expansion and growth of the fishery and thus provided the impetus for future larger scale settlement, which in turn ultimately led to Newfoundland's independence and subsequently becoming part of Canada. It sounds like a long shot but I feel that history is truly experienced and understood on a deeply personal level.
Originally published in Cook's Log, page 26, volume 31, number 3 (2008).
I have been working with the financing committee for the Captain Cook Historical Park and Monument currently under development for the West Coast of Newfoundland. The total budget for site development and the bronze sculpture of Captain Cook is approximately $1,200,000 in Canadian Funds, of this the $950,000 for the park itself has been totally committed to and funded by the various levels of municipal, provincial and federal governments. The balance of the financing required is the $250,000 for the sculpture itself which to date has received $70,000 in private donations from two separate patrons. With construction underway for the site development, and an anticipated date to be completed for early October of 2008, we are pushing to raise the balance of the $170,000 CDN to ensure a coincident installation this coming fall.
All donations are being administered by the Corner Brook Stream Development Association, a registered National Charity here in Canada, and as such issues official tax receipts for all donations, which is useful to Canadian taxpayers.
Any assistance that any member would like to provide to the completion of our fundraising efforts will be greatly appreciated and duly recognized in perpetuity at the site itself.
Originally published in Cook's Log, page 27, volume 31, number 3 (2008).
your email address will not be published