Stand-Up Beaver


Site-specific installation. Harbourfront Centre, Toronto.

Media: carved foam, fiberglass, epoxy, nickel currency (beaver side up), wood, steel

Dimensions: 100 cm x 80 cm x 60 cm

The concept of ‘natural resources’ is contemplated. In the history of Canada as a developing nation, the commodification of both the beaver and of water (fresh water) has played a pivotal role. Long before being adopted as a national icon, the beaver represented an early form of trade through its pelt. As an important source of revenue, the beaver inadvertently helped to bankroll the land exploration and development of Canada. In Stand-Up Beaver, the beaver form is clad in nickel currency and stands to attention in a simultaneously idyllic and threatening manner on a mound that floats on the surface of the pond. The pond, already a fabricated landscape, is further transformed into a wishing well (strewn with nickels). What the public currently desires is not the established icon of the beaver but what lies underneath – water.