It is quite common, and even hazardous, to see a moose while traveling route 230 on the Bonavista Peninsula. These days, you can catch a glimpse of a moose of a quite different makeup, that's not quite as dangerous as the fur-covered kind.
At Fishers' Loft in Port Rexton, artist Christina Nick is in the process of crafting a moose sculpture entirely out of steel.
Nick is a world-traveled artist whose journeys have brought her to Newfoundland on several different occasions. On one such occasion she found herself at Fishers' Loft in Port Rexton and met the proprietors, John and Peggy Fisher.
"I came to Newfoundland for the first time in 2004 to work at a foundry in Pouch Cove," recalled Nick. "I traveled around...I was guiding a walking trip with Butterfield and Robinson and we stayed (at Fishers' Loft) and I've been through here probably five or six times (since then)."
It was her discussions with John and Peggy that made her decide to make the sculpture.
"Me and Peggy and John started talking and they're really interested in art, mixing business with the arts, and we talked about me coming back to build a moose," she said.
Nick was supposed to start her project quite a while ago, but unfortunate factors prevented her from starting until now.
"It's kind of a funny story. It was four years ago, and the idea was I would come guide a trip and I would stay an extra three weeks and work on the moose."
Just before she left for Newfoundland, Hurricane Igor struck the Bonavista Peninsula, hitting Trinity Bight especially hard.
"We couldn't get here at all. I never got here and it's been four years," said Nick.
Nick is an artist who uses many different forms of media. She doesn't only sculpt with steel.
"I use a lot of mixed media, but for the most part, steel is just kind of the thing I perfected over the years. I've worked a lot on it. I really like mixing materials. Often I use recycled steel for the sculptures but, because of time, I couldn't really spend a lot of time in scrap yards," she said.
"For the most part I try to use recycled materials and found objects and then add other elements. This moose is going to be welded steel with real moose antlers."
Of all her collection, Nick feels in order to capture a place with a sculpture, an animal is a good representation of that place.
"Everything I make has something to do with a sense of place and traveling. So wherever I travel, I'll do lots of paintings, usually of the landscape and then I'll use maps and so forth," she said. "But then for sculpture, I found that the best way to portray a place, was to portray the animals of the area."
She has sculpted many animals, in many places, out of many materials, but this is only the second moose she has done.
"The other one is in Squamish, British Columbia," she said.
She will finish the moose before she leaves on May 26. The moose will then be displayed at Fishers' Loft for all to see.
"This will be part of the art exhibit. It will be standing over the labyrinth that was built last year," she said. "It will be overlooking the labyrinth and (John and Peggy) thought that would tell a nice story.
"They're organizing school trips to come here and take a look at the moose.
It's going to be good for everyone, and really great for me. It's so beautiful here, and it's nice to come back."
As for Nick, after she leaves Port Rexton she will head to Europe and continue other projects she is working on.
"I'm going to France, I have an art studio in France. I'm getting ready for a show next year, May 2015."