Deryk’s Personal Statement

I am excited to start a new phase of the Peace Sanctuary that began ten years ago in north eastern British Columbia. The first phase was a complete success. In 2002 we moved hundreds of tons of material to form a very primitive and simple image of a mother and child drawing. We also created rings of raised material to surround the mother and child images….. like a rock creates expanding ripples  when thrown into the water.The entire image is one thousand feet across and Google maps featured my project with an image from space.

The first phase helped raise awareness about the effects of the sanctions on the Iraqi people and the National film board of Canada covered that story in the documentary, “From Baghdad to Peace Country”.

In 2013, we approached Woodwynn Farms with the idea of creating a sanctuary of peace on their farm.  Woodwynn is a therapeutic farm for the homeless.

All my work has been about peace and so the idea of creating a special area on the farm with that focus was a natural process. I wanted to create something that would be meaningful for the participants as well as something that would act as a bridge to the local community. I felt that if people came onto the farm they would understand it in a positive way.

My wife Elizabeth has been a big help with this project. She has shovelled soil and filled wheelbarrows one after the other right alonside me. And I am grateful for her help and advice. She will be creating a special solstice sculpture with my son Samuel for a prominant section of the Peace Garden.

We believe in Woodwynn Farms and every day we are bowled over by the hard work they do in order to make this farm work. It has been very gratifying to watch participants gain confidence in themselves as they learn new skills.  The director, Richard LeBlanc is an amazing man and works harder than anyone I’ve ever known. He has a heart of gold and Elizabeth and I feel blessed to learn from him.