The “Heart in the Right Place” installation in Langley. (Kyle Thornley/Metal Mind Forge)

The “Heart in the Right Place” installation in Langley. (Kyle Thornley/Metal Mind Forge)

Revelstoke artists install new public art piece in Langley

Kyle Thornley’s work sits in public spaces across Canada

Kyle Thornley’s Metal Mind Forge installed an enormous sculpture that depicted two hands coming together to make a heart in Langley last week.

To Revelstokians, Kyle Thornley and his rapidly growing Metal Mind Forge are becoming household names. With Thornley’s sculptural works appearing across the country and down into the United States, his reputation continues to grow. Thornley’s most recent installation went up in Langley last week, removing two big hands from his shop in the Big Eddy.

“The install for a sculpture is pretty straightforward compared to some of the architectural stuff,” said Thornley.

Amidst the heavy smoke in the Okanagan, and navigating the fluctuating highway closures, Thornley drove the hands to Langley and installed them last week.

The two hands that come together to make a heart were part of a proposed project that Thornley applied for shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic. With the theme of ‘connected diversity’, Thornley’s final title for the piece was Heart in the Right Place.

Throughout the more than six months that the project was in Thornley’s shop, he recalled with a laugh how he and the other metal workers often found themselves comparing hands and making their own hearts to ensure the project looked the way it should.

READ MORE: Forging ahead: How a Revelstokian made a career of molding metal

As they worked to build the sculpture, Thornley said he sometimes felt disconnected from how the project would feel once it was installed. When he was able to see it set up, he felt the full weight of what he’d been working on.

(Kyle Thornley/Metal Mind Forge)

(Kyle Thornley/Metal Mind Forge)

“When you get that feedback, it’s amazing. You realize that you’ve sort of done something meaningful,” he said.

As he finished the installation, Thornley said he was ‘happy’ to receive immediate feedback from the community around the sculpture’s new home. Some thanked Thornley, while others gave him a big hug.

Part of the success of the install, Thornley said, was all the help from his fellow workers at the shop and the friends who helped, including Alex Pollard, Mikey Harris, Tom Lowe, and Leo Blackburn. Thornley was also quick to thank his wife and business partner, Katie, for all of her help in getting the project finished.

(Kyle Thornley/Metal Mind Forge)

(Kyle Thornley/Metal Mind Forge)

The celebrations were short-lived for Thornley. Not long after the sculpture was in place, Thornley was on the road again, headed back to his shop in the Big Eddy.

Thornley has been balancing other projects while he worked on the hands, so the work at the shop continues with preparations for his next installation. Next up on his docket will be a large metal tree with butterflies bound for Hamilton, Ontario.

Revelstokians looking to get a peek at Metal Mind’s work can look for the shop‘s installation at LUNA this year.

READ MORE: Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for Sept. 7

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