Fort Rodd Hill Artist in Residence

I spent four days in July at Fort Rodd Hill as an artist in residence.  Coast Collective has a partnership programme during the summer months, and member artists cycle through the site in summer.  I’m fascinated by this beautiful National Historic Park that’s just a short drive from my studio.  It was a great opportunity to get to know it better.

Fort Rodd Hill Fisgard Lighthouse

Fisgard Lighthouse, the first on Canada’s west coast, is part of the site.  It was officially given a National Historic designation while I was there.

Fort Rodd Hill CC AIR set up

Jill Singleton was my compatriot on site for the four day residency.  Jill is a printmaker, landscape architect, and published author.  Our set up was beside the Warrant Officers brick house.  We met many visitors during our stay, which were probably the hottest days of the summer.

Fort Rod Hill blacksmith

The blacksmith workshop above the Warrant Officers house.

The site has an historic themed interpretive programme, as well as information on the Garry Oak meadow ecosystem.  It has great contrast between the natural and the built, and offers plenty of military history.  It’s all dramatically sited on the mouth of Esquimalt Harbour.

Fort Rod Hill blacksmith 1

Interior of the blacksmith shop behind the Warrant Officers house.

Fort Rod Hill Lower battery 3

Entering the lower battery.

Fort Rod Hill Lower Battery

Fort Rod Hill Field shot

It’s unusual on the west coast to find open landscapes like this.

Fort Rod Hill Gary Oaks

There are many large Garry Oaks.  I’m inspired by the sharp contrast these provide, and colours of the buildings in a particular light.

Fort Rod Hill Interior 3

Fort Rod Hill fire hose

Fort Rod Hill exterior door

Fort Rod Hill Interior 2

Fort Rod Hill Interior 5

Fort Rodd Hill Textures 1

Peeling paint surfaces are appealing and this one reminds me of geological striations.

Fort Rodd Hill Textures 2

Fort Rod Hill Interior Model

There’s some lovely odd scenes in the interpretive spaces.

Fort Rod Hill Interior Model 2

Fort Rodd Hill 5

Fort Rod Hill Tower

Fort Rod Hill orange doorway

Fort Rodd Hill 3

Fort Rodd Hill 4

Fort Rodd Hill Warrant Officers House

Another view toward the Warrant Officers house, with two interpreters in WW 2 costume.  They did a daily presentation of weapons fire!

Fort Rodd Hill Fisgard Light House 4

Fisgard Lighthouse was built by the British in 1860 when Vancouver Island was not yet part of Canada.  There hasn’t been a keeper at the lighthouse since 1929, when it was automated.

The Colony of Vancouver Island, along with the Colony of British Columbia, were united as a Crown Colony in 1866.  The Crown Colony of British Columbia was incorporated into the Canadian Federation in 1871.

Check out British Columbia Minesweepers and their Stories, one of Jill’s books.  Her visual arts work often reflects her interest in the nautical theme of signal flags.

Jill M. Singleton – The Sketchbook Project

Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Park





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