Paying tribute: Hatters turns fallen tree into Remembrance Day memorial in B.C.

·2 min read

Irvine-based chainsaw artist Marina Cole has been in British Columbia creating her latest work of art.

Cole spent part of the last week bringing a fallen tree to life at the Royal Canadian Legion branch in Qualicum Beach.

She has taken the wood and turned it into a bench that will tell a story for the Legion.

Cole says she was inspired by a photograph and used her chainsaw skills to bring it to life.

“I was originally asked to do something with a soldier standing, but I saw this photo and it really inspired me,” she said. “The photo is at the Legion here and it’s of a grandpa holding his granddaughter.

“I wanted to do something to honour the veterans and to show the future.”

Like all of Cole’s art, there is plenty of detail packed into the piece.

“The grandpa is on his knee looking at a gravestone,” she said. “The gravestone represents the past and the grandpa represents the present and the past. He is crying and using his hand to hide it from his granddaughter.

“There is a lady on the other end and she represents younger veterans, and people serving in the military today.”

Cole is a first-generation Canadian and has family ties to the Canadian military.

“Both my mom and my dad are from Croatia and we have a lot of family back in Croatia,” she said. “When I was around 12, I remember hearing about the Peacekeepers from Canada going in there and them going to stop the Croatian Civil War.

“I remember being so proud of the Canadian Peacekeepers and so proud to be Canadian.”

Cole’s work around Medicine Hat includes sculptures of dogs, a bear, a giant mushroom and a large dragon. She says sculpting human beings is a challenge, but one she always accepts.

“Sculpting people is fun,” she said. “I really love carving people and I feel it really comes to me when I’m working.”

People can keep up with Cole and her work on her Facebook page called Chainsaw Spirit.

Mo Cranker, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News