Greater than 2,800 individuals have signed a petition to guard endangered birds at Esquimalt Lagoon … though the feathered creatures are not truly actual.

These fowl, made from driftwood, had been created by Langford’s very personal chicken man.

For the reason that spring, artist Paul Lewis has crafted 50 of them.

Fowl or foul?

The previous criminal-turned-artist has a ardour for larger-than-life swans, ravens and owls. However he is aware of some discover his fowl … nicely, foul.

Lewis admits the birds are to not everybody’s style.

“However what kills me is each time somebody smashes or breaks them, they assume they’re doing one thing damaging to discourage me — it truly empowers,” he mentioned.

He requested for public assist on social media over the vacations after a chicken was damaged and admits he is protecting of his artwork.

He places his private cellphone quantity on every chicken, so he can repair any issues.

This swan mysteriously misplaced its head in late December after artist Paul Lewis says he bought a sequence of offended messages from a person who threatened to break the wood artwork at Esquimalt Lagoon. A teen, not the writer of the threatening messages, admitted to the harm and mentioned it was an accident. (Paul Lewis/Fb)

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He doesn’t need nails or bits of damaged birds littering the seashore.

How artwork reworked artist

And he mentioned the birds are symbolic of how artwork helped raise him from a downward spiral 20 years in the past.

Lewis as soon as levelled a sawed-off shot gun at a clerk and it misfired grazing the person’s leg.

He was serving an eight-year sentence after a string of armed robberies he mentioned had been fuelled by cocaine habit when he related with inspiring First Nations artists by jail applications.

The Vancouver Island artist that fashions wood seashore birds discovered at Esquimalt Lagoon, like this hummingbird, turned his life round after jail. (Paul Lewis)

“I used to be in a nasty place and time in my life,” he mentioned. Lewis says artwork and jail applications had been key to how he turned issues round.

“It was large,” he mentioned.

Lewis went from easy pencil drawings to Robert Bateman-style photo-realistic work.

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As soon as he’d served his time, he rebuilt his life as a carpenter, scaffolder and someday oil discipline and shipyard employee.

However of late his ardour — is seashore birds.

He spends about 5 hours on each.

He mentioned that he was first impressed seeing artist Alex Whitcomb’s driftwood creatures in Colwood.

Birds like this have some individuals all aflutter. (Paul Lewis/Fb)

The town gave Lewis a spot between rubbish can #23 and #25, the place his outsized wood birds are allowed to remain.

However some birds have disappeared — maybe stolen.

Others have been broken since they started showing final spring.

‘He desires to smash them aside’

When one man started texting him insults — calling the birds “eye air pollution” and “crap” in December, he suspected the critic is perhaps damaging his work and requested individuals for assist to guard the birds.

Hundreds signed a petition inside days.

“He must get a life,” wrote Gord Little of Victoria.

Others speak about how the birds brighten their stroll on the seashore.

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“My children and I really like seeing the birds after we go to the lagoon,” wrote Christina Pelletier.

So Lewis reached out the the critic attacking his fake fowl.

“[He said] they’re disgusting and has mentioned he desires to smash them aside with a bat and desires them gone,” Lewis mentioned.

“He mentioned they had been like Grade 2 paintings and belonged in a flea market.”

The wood birds made from driftwood and scattered in regards to the seashore space of Esquimalt Lagoon in Langford embody ravens, a swan and an owl. (Fb)

After that, Lewis observed his swan had misplaced its head. However it turned out that harm was an accident.

Lewis mentioned a teen got here ahead and apologized which Lewis lauded as very “rise up” of the younger man who made a mistake.

The swan now has a brand new head.

Since then, Lewis additionally discovered his first creation — a bald eagle — destroyed by wind.

However he plans to maintain making birds, buoyed by all of the assist.

“It blows me away. I name my Mother. I believe it is fairly cool.”

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