Three driftwood sculptures go missing from ‘gallery’ at Esquimalt Lagoon

Thieves have stolen three driftwood bird sculptures, admired and photographed by crowds of visitors to Esquimalt Lagoon.

When artist Paul Lewis arrived at the beachfront “art gallery” on Wednesday morning, he discovered his sculptures of a hummingbird, an oyster catcher and an osprey chick were gone.

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A driftwood cormorant had its back, neck and body ripped apart, he said.

Lewis immediately set to work repairing the cormorant, but he’s hoping someone will spot the stolen sculptures and encourage those responsible to bring them back to the lagoon.

Lewis has been creating the birds since mid-April. He was inspired to make the driftwood creations when he saw Alex Witcombe’s beach sculptures — a pair of mammoths at Royal Bay, and “McGnarly the Beach Ent” at the lagoon.

At the time, he was dating a girl who was “pretty artsy” and they decided to do a sculpture of an eagle on the beach.

Lewis borrowed a screw gun and screws from his brother for the date, which didn’t go well.

He ended up creating the bald eagle on his own.

Each one has become more refined as he learns his craft.

The City of Colwood has commissioned Lewis to create four bird sculptures for the stage at their Eats and Beats on the Beach festival on Saturday, July 7.

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