Actually, the last place to find any appreciable amount of litter would be on environmentally conscious Hornby Island, one of B.C.’s Gulf Islands located north of Qualicum Beach (Vancouver Island), and east of Denman Island. So it was quite a jolting and wonderful surprise, on a recent Hornby visit, to come across this gigantic Campbell’s Soup can, which looks like it was discarded by some careless giant.
The “can” is actually one of about a dozen water tanks dispersed throughout the island to enable fire fighters to work efficiently; this tank on Sollans Road at Brigantine Crescent holds 15,000 gallons of water. Over the years, the tanks became rusty and dented so the fire chief called upon the creativity of local artists to transform them. Many artists have painted the tanks in a manner that responds to the beauty of Hornby’s natural surroundings. However, when artist and local resident Roberta Pyx Sutherland tried to blend this tank into its natural setting, “the can” was refusing to cooperate. Inspired by Hornby curator Annette Hurtig who had recently passed away, Sutherland decided to listen to Hurtig’s’ assertion that aside from eagles and trees, there was a world of contemporary art to explore. So in the summer of 2012, on the 50th anniversary of Andy Warhol’s famous Campbell Soup can, she decided to create: Warhol Tribute. Aided by Vancouver scene painter, Tara Ireland, Sutherland worked over 100 hours to complete this incredible work.
Roberta Pyx Sutherland is a contemporary artist who employs a wide range of techniques to enhance her perception and that of others. She has been exhibited in Canada and Switzerland and been collected by the Canada Council and public galleries. Please visit her website: http://www.robertapyxsutherland.com/index.htm
Warhol Tribute was commissioned by the Hornby Island Community Arts Council.