101 Nights

101 Nights by Bill Richardson

Add a ladle every night
To every ladle, add a light

101 Nights is an art installation by Vancouver writer and broadcaster Bill Richardson, and it ended tonight on the winter solstice. Bill produced it inside the shopfront windows of his old Edwardian house in Vancouver’s Strathcona neighbourhood. I’ve walked past this every night for months now. Bill collected 101 steel ladles from thrift and other sources, and each night for 101 nights he hung a ladle from the ceiling and lit a candle in its bowl. Tonight, on the solstice, the ladles total 101 and the whole neighbourhood was invited in to light a candle and make a wish.

101 Nights by Bill Richardson

101 Nights by Bill Richardson

101 Nights by Bill Richardson

101 Nights by Bill Richardson

101 Nights by Bill Richardson

101 Nights was so beautiful that I predict the neighbourhood will want to see it again next year, but lighting all the candles nightly was such a phenomenal amount of work that no one will blame Bill if he never does it again. I suggested that he hire a proper lamplighter, with a dark hood and a long taper and candle snuff, to come and light the candles every night. Maybe the figure of the lamplighter comes to mind because there’s an almost Dickensian feeling about the eveningsĀ at this time of year, here at the 49th parallelĀ when it’s dusk at 4:30 pm. But it’s also that there’s not a little of the Dickensian in our neighbourhood, so close to ground zero of poverty in Vancouver, and the ladles are somehow a strange reminder of the ever-present soup kitchens nearby.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Responses to “101 Nights”

  1. grayelf Says:

    Thanks so much for this post — thought provoking at this rolling time of the year.

  2. Richard Rooney Says:

    Great evening, magic!

Leave a Reply