This summer, some unsuspecting hiker will stumble onto a huge creature, standing silent in a clearing. They'll also see a sign from the artist who created it out of driftwood, asking them to spend time with this mastodon (and maybe to not climb it).
The artist behind both the prehistoric beast and its accompanying label is Guthrie Gloag of British Columbia. He's laboured to build this monumental artwork and then leave it in a secret location, only known by him.
Why hide so much work? Gloag created this sculpture as a symbol of conservation, something to prompt viewers to reflect on how species are threatened — sometimes into extinction — by humans. In his work with driftwood animals, Gloag points to dangerous conditions from climate change and environmental destruction to unsustainable consumerism and production practices.
The environmentalist tone of Gloag's work may come from his background as a biologist and time spent in the wilderness of British Columbia, where he got to see wildlife in its natural setting. Mastodons became extinct roughly 11,000 years ago, but what Gloag has created is a contemporary encounter between the viewer and the silent mastodon.
Usually this is the part of the article where you would find out where to see Gloag's mastodon and for how long. But we're not telling you. Good luck, traveler.
Watch Exhibitionists on Friday nights at 11:30pm (12am NT) and Sundays at 3:30pm (4pm NT) on CBC Television.