Flying Machines 


Wing ahead to the turn of the century. Chinook Centre's art conveyor is a travelling display of imaginative flying machines.

Seven Canadian artists have created these pieces - some whimsical, some historical.

Alberta Soar

Alberta Soar was inspired by the early floatplanes used extensively throughout Canada to access remote regions.

"I started building this plane at the age of twelve!"
Artist: Ludzer Vandermolen - a well-known Toronto sculptor who immigrated from Holland in 1966 and has lived and worked in Canada since.

The Iron Horsefly

"The last thing I want people to say about it is that it looks like it can fly. I just love the idea of taking a steam locomotive and turning it into a train-plane. I want my design to look as old and heavy as possible."

Artist: Jeff De Boer is a Calgary artist known throughout Canada and beyond for his armour, exoforms, and space objects. Jeff based the "train-plane" on a railway engine in Heritage Park, Calgary.

The Renaissance 

The Renaissance Flying Machine was inspired by the drawings of DaVinci's idiot brother.

"I have of late been preoccupied with the possibility of human powered flight. Last night, I dreamed of being in a strange craft with wings of a bat and tail like a windmill. Carried aloft by a warm dry wind, I soared like an eagle over mountains of stark rock towards a vast plain."

Artist: Alastair Dickson, an international sculptor, studied in Edinburgh and has since lived and worked in Munich, London, and Toronto. 

R.S.B. 'Rustler'


"In the closing years of the 19th century, R. Phinius Bodine - inventor, aeronaut, and rogue - invented the steam powered dirigible, which was used successfully for many years to rustle Alberta cattle."

Artist: Inventor, engineer, sculptor, and science educator - Russell Zeid - has bemused audiences with whimsical exhibits in Canada and as far afield as Bangkok and Moscow.

Machina Volucris

Machina Volucris came from "my fascination with the structural elements of wooden aircrafts and led me to use an open ribbed construction, visible from below, to allow for dynamic interplay as the piece moves through space. A similar craft was launched from Gladys Ridge by curious Alberta farmer Malcolm Shmaal."

Artist: Doug Haslam - a Calgary designer, craftsman, and ebonist - has exhibited throughout Canada and Japan.

The Wisdom Of Play

"Years ago, we used to make rather clandestine late night visits to the Calgary Aviation Museum to marvel at the new flightless machines of yesteryear. I chose to follow the design of a machine that never knew flight, so as to give glory at last to the underdog - the failed but painstaking attempt wrought in the fever dreams of ascension."

Artist: Petronella Overes is an enterprising inter-disciplinarian and Calgary resident who divides her talents between sculpture, jewellery, and architectural interior design.

 Dragon Flyer

Peter Sutherland, with associates Marc Dixon and Jamie Hatch, created a kinetic sculpture. Its propellers gather power from Alberta's "Chinook" wind - causing the wings to flap.

Artist: Peter Sutherland has operated his three-dimensional illustration company since 1982 - creating sculptures, mannequins, prototypes, and props for a variety of uses. He was educated at the Ontario College of Art and at Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Montreal.

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