Rune Stone, 1986
• swedish granite
• 58” H x 48” W x 10” D (147cm H x 122cm W x 25cm D)
• public art collection, City of Vancouver, BC, Canada
In 1986, Michael Binkley received a commission to carve a Rune Stone sculpture to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the City of Vancouver, BC, Canada. The sculpture was commissioned and finaced by the Scandinavian Festival Society of Vancouver and donated to the City’s public art collection. Historically, when the Vikings visited a new land, they would commemorate their visit by engraving a large stone near the shore with a message in their native Runic language.
The Society had a large block of black Swedish granite imported to Binkley’s studio where he partially worked on the sculpture. The sculptor left a small amount of work which he completed on site at Vanier Park in Vancouver during the summer Scandinavian Festival. The public were invited to participate in hand carving the granite under Binkley’s instruction. When it was completed, it was installed at the foot of the flagpole in Vanier Park beside the seashore of False Creek with a commemorative plaque at its base.
The inscription on the front of the sculpture is a traditional Viking design of a cross and two dragons with their tails and neck intertwined. On the dragon’s bodies is inscribed, using Runic letters the words “This stone has been created and gifted to the City of Vancouver by the Scandinavian Festival Society on the occasion of the City’s 100th anniversary.”
The final photo here is Michael and Michelle Binkley beside the Rune Stone in October, 2008.