Saturday 16 February 2008

Al Purdy to be honoured with statue, film

It has taken seven years, but Scott Griffin and Dennis Lee have weathered the seas of bureaucracy and managed to make it happen. A monumental sculpture honouring the great poet Al Purdy will finally be unveiled in Queen's Park this coming May. The Globe and Mail reports that Mr. Griffin said, "Al Purdy is recognized as a giant in terms of Canadian poetry. There was absolutely no doubt that this was the guy, if you were going to do it at all." And I couldn't agree more.

Pictured is a detail of the clay sculpture created by sculptors Veronica de Nogales Leprevost and Edwin Timothy Dam. Their studio is called Dam de Nogales Sculptors. The finished statue is currently being cast in bronze. Here’s more from the Globe and Mail story:

The finished product will be a 2.7-by-2.7-metre statue (that's life-size and a half) weighing about 1,000 kilograms, that has Mr. Purdy seated on a rock, a book dangling from his right hand as he twists around to look over his left shoulder.

sIts planned placement at Queen's Park will have him gazing toward pedestrian pathways and northbound traffic on the east side of the legislature. The statue will be facing, and seemingly listening to, the passing world, facing away from the formal civic luminaries around it.

Read the whole story here.

In other news, Al Purdy will be brought to the small screen this spring in a television movie starring Gordon Pinsent (pictured). Harbour Publishing, Purdy's last publisher, reports the story on their website:
Yours, Al starring Canadian icon Gordon Pinsent, is an evocative film that captures, interprets and celebrates the life and work of one of Canada's most significant poets and literary geniuses Al Purdy (1918-2000). Actor Gordon Pinsent movingly captures the essence of the poet in this drama set in a metaphorical, abandoned house, which comes to life as Al returns to read, write and remember his favourite poems. CBC Television, “Opening Night”, Thursday April 13, 8pm (local across Canada).

For the whole story, visit Harbour Publishing.


Razovsky said...

Gordon Pinsent as Al Purdy looks oddly like David W. McFadden!

Great news about the statue.


Paul Vermeersch said...

Yeah, you're right. Weird.

Remi said...

Now, all they have to do is get a statue of Milton Acorn in front of the Waverly and we would be all set.

Years ago, I spent a summer tearing up some old railway tracks southeast of Trenton. I guess I was the only guy in the work gang that thought of Al Purdy every time we passed the road to Ameliasburg.