Laurence Knowles, 2005
The Basalt Series was commissioned by the Resort Municipality of Whistler as a result of a juried competition to create public art for the Valley Trail and neighbourhoods beyond Whistler Village. Artist Laurence Knowles is a stone carver. He was commissioned for his proposal to create sculptures that depict symbols from his First Nation culture.
As the name suggests, there is a relationship between human and bear. The black bear is a respected animal and symbol. As the artist explained about his life in the north, hunters would pray to the bear before hunting. The human in the bear’s eye represents the First Nations’ story of transformation.
The artist chose this location for the bear so that it would be close to, and part of, families playing in the park. To the south a second sculpture, Medicine Man, looks to the bear. Medicine Man was created to honour the Lil’wat First Nation elder that blessed the Basalt Sculpture Project that was carved in Whistler by the Haida First Nation artist Knowles.
The third sculpture, Creek Woman, can be found 800 metres southwest along the Valley Trail.
Public art nearby:
117 Creek Woman is the third sculpture in the three-part series, southwest along the Valley Trail