Miniatures are a big deal to Lynne Landygo.
Lynne and husband John Landygo’s A Small World Bed and Breakfast in Chemainus features three themed rooms as well as other miniatures displayed around the house.
“I have always been making miniatures,” said Lynne. “It goes on hold when you have a career and a family.
“I didn’t get seriously into it till 25 years ago.”
As a member of the Small Endeavours Miniature Club of Victoria, also known as the Victoria Miniature Club, Landygo was involved in the group’s plan to create exhibits for a Canadian Heritage in Miniature display as part of the country’s 150th anniversary celebrations.
“We each decided to do something that depicted an event, a person or a place in Canadian history,” she explained.
Landygo had already done a one-room schoolhouse exhibit crafted from her recollections of attending one as a child in Inwood, Manitoba which suited the display criteria perfectly. Her historical brothel scene was also included on part of the tour.
Landygo wanted to create something else specific for the exhibit and decided Emily Carr would fit the bill because of the obvious Canadian heritage aspect and the connection to Chemainus made through the launch of the Emily Carr mural series.
Several years ago, Landygo had already molded a figurine and intended to make a simple scene of Carr painting at an easel. She still had the unfinished figurine in her workroom and it formed the basis for her work on the Emily Carr caravan, known as the elephant.
Pictures of the elephant were scarce, Landygo discovered, but Emily Carr House curator Jan Ross and fellow club member Edith Newman, who had books of Carr in her home library, provided valuable assistance.
“In learning about the caravan, I also learned about Emily and have come to admire not only her work, but her as well,” Landygo pointed out.
“It was a learning experience,” conceded Landygo. “I realized how talented she was.”
Landygo started working on the project in January to make sure it was done in plenty of time for the beginning of the tour on Canada Day, July 1.
“I’m lucky enough to have a husband who’s good with a saw,” she said. “He makes the boxes for me and I finish them.”
Daughter Barbara Landygo also helped mold the animals.
Building the elephant itself was a monumental task and the roof was made retractable for easy viewing by the public.
The finished product is amazingly detailed with Carr seated at her cabin where she lived with everything recreated to scale with all of her books, kitchenware, furniture and, of course, the animals. “I had to put cages in there for four dogs and a monkey,” explained Landygo.
The exhibit was rotated among several Victoria area locations throughout the summer and fall.
Landygo was happy to do the project both to promote the hobby and for the exposure the miniature club received.
The display is now back at home with Landygo, but she’d eventually like to have it available for regular viewing by the public, perhaps in the new Chemainus library building when it’s completed.
“I’m hoping it’s exhibited somewhere in Chemainus because of our Emily Carr theme,” she said. “People will learn there is more to Emily Carr than the murals. She was a much bigger person than that.”