Broken sculpture revitalized thanks to donor and local artist Maarten Schaddelee

Bob Wright, Oak Bay Marine Group, Nadina, Maarten, Tom Pederson, Director of Pacific Institute for Climate Change UVIC, Rob Lipson, Dean of Science UVIC.
For nine years local sculptor Maarten Schaddelee’s work has been on display on the first floor of the Bob Wright Building, providing intrigue and inspiration to the UVic community. That is until last year when one of the two pieces was accidentally bumped and damaged.
The idea for the basswood, alder and marble sculpture named Heartless, came to Schaddelee in a dream. The headless grey whale with flesh torn away from its heart symbolizes the uncertain future of whale populations on the west coast. "Heartless was inspired by my reflections on the plight of the grey whales on our coast," said Schaddelee. “The whales were not replenishing their stocks and I felt that they had lost the heart to survive.”


Heartless and Schaddelee’s second donation of Delicate Balance, a yellow cedar and jelutong sculpture of a hand holding up a Sei whale, work together to illustrate the fragile relationship between humans and nature. Now reinforced and restored, both are back on display in the Bob Wright Centre - a building dedicated to the ocean, earth and atmospheric sciences.

Both Schaddelee and his wife, Nadina, were inspired to donate the pieces after attending the opening of the Bob Wright Centre over ten years ago. Believing that the sculptures could serve as reminders of the need for each of us to be stewards for the ocean.

Delicate Balance

Former Dean of Science and personal friend of the artist Dr. Tom Pedersen believes the sculptures work well together and help inspire viewers to consider their impact on the environment. “Positive stewardship of the environment is one of the biggest challenges humanity currently faces,” said Pedersen. “Both of Maarten’s sculpture's powerfully capture the gravity of that challenge and encourages us to think about our responsibility to take better care of the earth we live on.” 
Originally created in 1988, both Heartless and Delicate Balance remain poignant reminders of humanity’s impact. Their side-by-side placement in the bustling Bob Wright Centre will continue to provide the many passersby with an artistic call to action.