When we first saw it, we thought it was a piece of junk … a redundant marker buoy or something, cast on the foreshore of Vancouver’s False Creek. But, as we got closer, we realised it was a Sculpture.
It was the brainchild of local artist Jerry Pethick, who took his inspiration from the Clarence Gray and William Ritt comic strips of his childhood. The hero, one Brick Bradford, could be called an early version of Doctor Who. He happened upon a ‘chronosphere’, which was intended to ‘ … unravel the secrets of the past and probe the mysteries of the future.’
Pethick envisaged the device flying across the Pacific Ocean, and splashing down off British Columbia.
He passed away in 2003, but, the following year, the Time Top Project was commenced. Pethick had left detailed instructions about how the Time Top was to be constructed, and the Harmon Foundry was commissioned to build it in bronze. When it was complete, it was submerged in the ocean for two years, connected to a power supply, to attract molluscs and encourage the growth of mineral deposits.
It finally reached a satisfactory stage of ‘studied dilapidation’, which was intended to give the impression that it had been washed up on the foreshore. It was then transported to its present location, where capstones in the wall nearby show scenes from the strip cartoon that inspired it.