Video – Laura Secord (artist version) – Decoding ART – Heritage Monuments

Transcript

Transcript of Laura Secord (artist version)

Narrator: "This capsule is presented by Canadian Heritage."

[Canadian Heritage signature]

[Portrait of Marlene Hilton Moore]

Narrator: "I am Marlene Hilton Moore, the artist who created the sculptures of 14 great Canadians for the Valiants Memorial.”

[The bronze statue of Laura Secord]

Narrator: "The figure of Laura Secord was the first sculpture I created.

To depict the image of this great Canadian heroine, I did substantial research with historians, as well as with the curators of various museums.”

[Close-up of the head of the statue]

Narrator: "I discovered a woman of extraordinary courage and determination.

Born in Massachusetts, Laura Ingersoll was 20 years old when she and her family emigrated to Queenston in Upper Canada. It was there that she met and married her husband, James Secord, a prosperous young merchant who later fought in the War of 1812. He was wounded early in the War, and was rescued from the battlefield by none other than his brave wife. Months later, the Secord’s house was requisitioned by American troops. It was during this time—on June 21, 1813, to be exact—that Laura overheard a conversation between the American officers about their plans for a surprise attack on the British outpost of Beaver Dams.”

[Illustration of Laura Secord hiking in the woods]

Narrator: "The next day, Laura set out at dawn, on foot, to travel the more than 30 kilometres through dense bush to warn Lieutenant James FitzGibbon at Beaver Dams of the impending danger.”

[Illustration of Laura Secord warning the British soldiers about the attack]

Narrator: "In doing this, she changed the course of the war and Canadian history.”

[Close-up of the head of the statue]

Narrator: "Inspired by her patriotic deed, I sculpted her as she would have appeared in June 1813, when she was 37 years old.”

[The dress from the bottom to the top]

Narrator: "Historians specializing in the history of clothing were able to shed light on what Laura Secord would have worn during her courageous journey through the woods. Because she was the wife of a businessman, she had a certain status in her community. She was not upper class, but neither was she working class. According to the styles and customs of the early 19th century middle classes, on this morning in June, she would have worn a long cotton day dress with long sleeves, a cotton or linen chemisette, a wool shawl to keep warm in the cool morning air,...”

[Close-up of boots followed by close-up of a straw hat]

Narrator: "…ankle boots and a straw hat attached with a ribbon.

I developed a unique process for sculpting the Valiants figures, using clothing and artifacts placed on cast models as an armature. The portrait and hands were sculpted in clay, attached to the body, and all was prepared in wax to cast in bronze.”

[View of the statue from the feet to the head]

Narrator: "I selected a stance in which Laura Secord is gently raising her skirt, suggesting her trek through the bush. I hired a model to take this stance for casting.  The clothing was carefully draped over the cast to depict the correct decorum of the era.”

[Clay model of the head, and photography of Laura Secord]

Narrator: "For her portrait, I was inspired by the only photo of her, taken when she was about 85 years old. I studied the structure of her face and was able to rejuvenate it by approximately 50 years.”

[Clay model of the head]

Narrator: "By sculpting her specific features in clay, I gradually brought her portrait to life: her prominent eyes and heavy eyelids; her straight nose and the well-defined V of her upper lip.”

[Close-up of the head of the bronze statue]

Narrator: "Her hair, in the style of the time period, is curled on her forehead and in front of her ears. I wanted to represent the distinctive characteristics of the women from her era, but I also wanted to show her pioneer strength. Her gaze is direct, but cautious, reflecting the danger she faced in making her brave trek. The final sculpture has immortalized Laura Secord, along with her important contribution to Canada’s history."

[Canada Wordmark]
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