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Calgary artist’s cairn creations beautify banks of the Bow
Published Thursday, April 21, 2016 5:22PM MDT
Last Updated Thursday, April 21, 2016 7:22PM MDT
A local man who was recently laid off from his job is using his spare time to create art from nature and is catching the attention of those who wander down the pathway along the Bow River.
Luke Materi, 37, is a plumber by trade and started looking for something to keep him busy between job searches.
He stumbled upon a new hobby and built his first stacked rock project near Bragg Creek.
It took him about 600 hours to complete and inspired him to make more.
“It was this aching desire inside of me just wanting to get out and do something positive. Just because I wasted so many years, you know, on doing stupid stuff,” said Materi.
He calls his creations “Natural Land Art’ and many people have spotted his elaborate stacks of rocks and wondered where they came from.
“I think it’s very pretty. I mean I didn’t notice it at first then I saw two or three of the designs and then the castle was pointed out to me, I’m like, that’s just beautiful and it takes a lot of time but it’s fantastic,” said one man.
“I do like it. I was here two months ago, saw it by accident while bicycling on the bridge and was pleasantly surprised, said one woman. “I think it’s magical.”
Materi has recently been working on a project he calls ‘Solitude’ on an island in the Bow and is sharing the space with some Canada geese.
"First and foremost the island belongs to the geese," he said. “They don’t really judge you or have opinions on you. You can just be yourself and not have to worry about anything.”
He has struggled with alcohol and gave it up over two years ago after finding his passion.
"I would definitely say it was a blessing in disguise," he said “It’s just getting up and continuing to march forward despite all the hiccups along the way.”
He says vandalism happens so he has to do some touch ups once in a while.
"Teaching me patience, most definitely," said Materi. “As long as I am making a positive contribution, I think I’ll be happy."
Materi is also working on two projects under Crowchild Trail.
(With files from Brad Macleod)