Winlaw, British Columbia


Featured Sculpture

Rabi'a - Dr. Suess and I (powder coated steel)

Sculpturewalk mainstay Rabi'a unveils another of her playful, charming found steel wonders for viewers to marvel at this year.

The Slocan Valley artist has entered a sculpture every year since the program began in 2010. Two years ago, she and her partner Carl Schlichting - a fine sculptor in his own right - carried off the People's Choice award with their creative, impressively detailed work titled Imagine The Stories.

This year she is channeling Theodore Geisel - famous children's book author and illustrator of the beloved Dr. Suess titles - with her entry, based on the lovely found piece of metal that is its basis.

"I am an unrepentant scavenger," she says with a laugh. "My idea of heaven is foraging through junkyards and scrap piles. When I reclaim a particular piece of metal, it's often because it has sparked an idea with its form. That was the case here, the metal lent itself to zany and playful, just like Suess's characters."

To that enticing metal shape, all crazy angles and twists, she has added perforations and painted it jet-black. What really binds it together and makes it sing are the outrageously coloured flowers set on long curving stems. They rise gracefully in a crescendo of brilliant sizes and tones, creating a spectacular contrast. At the same time they compliment the metal as an integral part of the overall sculpture.

The re-worked metal form has the sharp lines and wild curving sweeps that do bring to mind one of Suess' loveable characters; the finished piece invokes his illustrations with its shape and colour. Dr. Seuss and I is a splendid testimony to Rabi'a's creativity and ingenuity.

Given her always-busy schedule, where she found the time to complete her funky, fantastic work is a bit of a mystery. In addition to numerous projects in varying states of progression, she operates a B & B on her five-acre property near Winlaw.

She and Schlichting have been extremely busy of late, working on beautifying the initial phase of the Hall Street throughway renovation in Nelson. They have succeeded extremely well. Rabi'a's sculpture, Dancing Myself - her 2011 Sculpturewalk entry - has been moved from its Ward Street location by Touchstone's museum/gallery. It now sits triumphant at the top of the small park that anchors the Hall Street renovation.

Beneath it, the pair has fashioned intricate glass mosaics that present the beauty surrounding, and activities available in and around, Nelson. In flowing, undulating lines that compliment the stylized wall below the statue, the mosaics splash colour enhancing the curving cement.

Both her entries in last year's Sculpturewalk are on the move too. Let's Go - a mother and daughter viewed from behind - is off to Penticton, leased for a year by the city. It is part of the ever-expanding regional component of Sculpturewalk. Four cities now lease sculptures from the program after their annual stay here in Castlegar. Arrivals and Departures has found a new home in Creston, purchased by Baillie- Grohman Estate Winery.

It has been a busy time, as always, for Rabi'a. She has delivered again though for this year's show. Her quirky, creatively inventive sculpture this year is sure to delight viewers of all ages attending Sculpturewalk.


Artist's Sculptures