Sculpture - The Spirit of Mining
Beatrice Lennie

This large relief plaster sculpture (approximately five feet high & eight feet wide) was Lennie's graduation piece at the Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts in 1929. She was Charles Marega's star pupil, his first graduate student, and one of the few female sculptors in early B.C.

This sculpture was mounted into the wall above the fireplace in the Lennie home in Shaughnessey for many years. It was then "lost", sitting in a wooden crate following renovations to the house. It was discovered, finally, at the B.C. Museum of Mining at Britannia Beach. These photographs of the sculpture were taken by Gary Sim in 2004, courtesy of the Museum, which was hoping to restore the work.

Considering all of its travels in 75 years, the sculpture was in good condition, the broken hammer handle being the only major damage visible. The sculpture is built onto a wooden frame backing, which was covered in burlap to help model the miners and the rocks with wet plaster. There were also subtle colours applied, and a glaze of some sort.