One night, while walking along the Songhees Walkway, I caught the view of a crouching heron that would become the inspiration for my sculpture. Standing on one leg, motionless, this heron would have been easy to miss had my mind’s wandering thoughts not paid heed to my peripheral vision, which was directing me to appreciate the beauty of the moment before me. I stood there with that bird for over half an hour, contemplating his superb focus and patience while also admiring his delicate silhouette and graceful thinness. Was there ever another bird so exquisitely efficient in function and yet so meditatively beautiful in form?
Living and working on the Victoria waterfront has afforded me many opportunities to observe and reflect on the habits of the local heron population, particularly their posture of crouching in still waters in wait of fish. During the daytime, I would compare the heron’s ways to those of the other birds — the noise and confusion of the vulturous seagulls surrounding the heron and hoarding any available fish remnants — to the hectic ways of the people of the city, with their cars, planes, boats, sirens and so forth. I admired the “way” of the heron, whose stillness is extraordinary. Does one ever become likewise, unaffected by all of the busyness and distractions of the city?
The heron’s uncanny punctuality also struck me, as we’d come to meet at that same spot most nights thereafter. Now that seasons and habits have changed, when he doesn’t show up, I can go to Herons Landing to see him crouching in his newly conceptualized habitat, atop a custom glass tile mosaic “water” motif, amidst rust laden rocks.
As a Victoria landmark, the Crouching Heron beckons circumnavigation on foot, whereby the flat steel bird is brought to life from an apparent two to three dimensions. The large scale of this hunting bird was determined such that passersby would become a metaphorical “flock” — or "food".