One month after a devastating theft, Denise Fenwick is still heartbroken about the loss of two sentimental sculptures.
Fenwick woke up the morning of March 9 to find that two sculptures she kept in her Courtenay backyard – created by her late husband, Robin Campbell – had been stolen sometime during the night.
The absence of a large concrete female meditation figure was the first thing she noticed that morning. The 60-pound statue usually sat about five feet away from her kitchen window and she looked at it often. This was the last statue her husband worked on before he died in July 2002.
“The people stealing it had no idea what it was, what it meant to me,” said Fenwick. “It’s just super upsetting. He’s gone, he can’t make more.”
Campbell lived and worked as a sculptor on Hornby Island for many years and had done exhibitions around the world. This piece was meant to be part of a larger public art installation, with nine meditating sculptures in a circle.
However, the concrete figure wasn’t the only piece stolen from Fenwick’s backyard. A small bronze statuette, that Campbell had cast in Santa Fe, was also taken.
“I just want to find them,” said Fenwick. “I don’t want to press charges, I don’t want to cause trouble for people, but I was just hoping to get them returned.”
Fenwick has moved other statues she had displayed in her backyard inside her home, but feels far less safe after the thefts. She says none of the statues were at all visible from the street, and someone would have had to have been in her yard to find them. The sheer weight and awkward size of the concrete statue also has her wondering whether the theft had been planned in advance.
Years ago, Fenwick had another piece stolen from her yard – a woven willow sculpture by Alastair Heseltein, another Hornby Island artist. That piece was also never recovered.
“I’ve just kind of had it – twice in my own city in less than 10 years,” she said. “My concern is also for the rest of the community who have things in their yards. Makes me scared about who’s prowling around at night.”
Fenwick says she did contact the police immediately after the incident and has an open police file. Anyone with information is asked to contact the police and refer to file #3272.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The stolen statue was originally part of a larger installation of nine identical concrete statues.