New sculpture unveiled in William F. Lede Park

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

The newest public art sculpture in Leduc, The Farm Woman, was unveiled at the Stone Barn Garden in the Cultural Village on Saturday, Oct. 21.

The sculpture, made of stainless steel and created by local artist Tania Garner-Tomas, gives the community another public art installation to enjoy as they walk and play in William F. Lede Park. It also compliments its partner piece, The Plough Man, which was created by Garner-Tomas in 2012.

While the piece was commissioned by The Leduc Stone Barn Garden Society, it will be maintained by the City of Leduc as part of the City’s growing collection and advances the City’s Cultural Development Strategy and Strategic Plan.

"Public art stimulates the imagination and encourages people to have richer experiences with the world around them," says Toscha Turner, Cultural Development Manager for the City of Leduc. "It engages and brings community together through experiences that create a sense of belonging and connectedness to the people, places, stories, and creative ideas that make our City unique. Public art challenges you to reconsider the world, yourself, and your place in community – site-specific public arts asks you to reconsider the meaning and value of place, by connecting and reframing your personal experience within it." 

Garner-Thomas says in her artist statement she hopes onlookers will see The Farm Woman as someone who is “enjoying a quiet moment in her demanding life, throwing feed to her chicken on a breezy summer afternoon. Her blowing hair and work dress integrate her into the idyllic Stone Barn Garden greenspace.”

A plaque at the base of the sculpture reads: “To the female pioneers – we dedicate this sculpture of The Farm Woman to our strong and resilient female pioneers who formed communities that supported each other in the shared vision of a better future. These women forged ahead in often difficult and trying times through their hard work and dedication to family and friends. ‘Commitment, strength, determination.” 

Artist Statement: 

To the female Pioneers. The Farm woman 

All my work strives to capture the life and soul of the subject with movement and energy. I like my work to have a fantasy feel to it, as if the viewer has just gone through a portal and discovered it. I am greatly influenced by the whimsy of C.S. Lewis. 

The farm woman is enjoying a quiet moment in her demanding life, throwing feed to her chicken on a breezy summer afternoon. Her blowing hair and work dress integrate her into the idyllic Stone Barn Garden greenspace. 

She is a hard working very young woman with a lot of heart. She is dedicated to her home, farm and community. She is an entrepreneur as are all farmers, determined and tenacious. 

The integral energy of this piece is inspired by Rodin’s “Balzac”. The initial style was inspired by my father Bruce Garner’s piece called “The Searcher” which is a steel wire style of a man stretching his oversized hands to the sky. It was also inspired by a piece I saw in Toronto which was a rolled sheet of metal with rectangles cut through it. It performed a dance of light and shadows through the cut-out rectangles as you walked by and looked through it. I am pleased to have captured that visual movement with the farm woman and I encourage you to walk around her looking through the sculpture. You can also see this negative positive flowing shape movement in my driveway gates, paintings, other public works and murals. 

For me, capturing the mystery of the forces of life and finding my power wrestling with media will always ignite my passion. 

Tania Garner-Tomas, Sculptor and painter