In Pictures: Flying Without Wings!

By David F. Rooney

The city’s newest public sculpture — Flying Without Wings by Rob Buchanan — was quietly installed at the Tournament of Champions Winner’s Circle at the base of Mount Revelstoke by the Railway Museum on Track Street on Thursday morning.

The chrome sculpture is a stylized ski jump that is also an homage of sorts to local Olympian John McInnes.

“I based the front of the sculpture on John’s skis,” Buchanan said as the two-art metal sculpture he created with the vital assistance of Rob Maraun at Mount Begbie Machine Shop. “I think it’s quite cool.”

And, in fact, it is.

The gleaming sculpture is surrounded by the flags of those countries that sent competitors here in the last century when Revelstoke truly was a power house in the world of ski jumping. This particular work will be formally unveiled in June.

Buchanan is an extremely talented and energetic photographer, painter, sculptor and graphic designer employed by Parks Canada. He has been responsible for the most attractive and  interesting sculptures created in Revelstoke for our two national parks (the whimsical Breeches of Miss Conduct and the graceful memorial to the workers who died in the March 1910 avalanche in Rogers) and will also, this year, begin installation of a major public sculpture for the City at the Community Centre.

Here is a series of photos that chronicles the installation of Flying Without Wings as well as a copy of Rob’s original statement and first illustrations for the work. Enjoy:

Friend and fellow artist David Walker chats with Rob Buchanan on Thursday morning about the Tournament of Champions monument Rob designed for the entrance to the trail up Mount Revelstoke beside the Railway Museum. Walker was on his way u for a quick run up the trail when he encountered Buchanan and a crew of workers beginning the process of installing his new sculpture, Flying without Wings, which is the centerpiece of the installation. David F. Rooney photo
Workers ensure the base of the sculpture is properly placed on its granite plinth. David F. Rooney photo
Scott Renaud of Revelstoke Equipment Rentals was at the controls as Jordy Lebel and Denis St. Onge of Parks Canada attach the belt to top portion of Rob Buchanan's sculpture. David F. Rooney photo
Sculptor Rob Buchanan lends a hand to help guide the top part of his sculpture to its proper resting place. David F. Rooney photo
Denis St. Onge guides the sclpture during the last few centimetres of its journey. David F. Rooney photo
Once it was in place, Jordy Lebel tightened the bolts that hold it in place. David F. Rooney photo
And here's what the almost-finished product looks like. Space along the railing are holders for what Rob calls his "hockey cards." Each card will contain colourful anecdotal information about the skiers who competed here when Revelstoke really was a world-class centre for ski jumping. David F. Rooney photo