Brian M. Atyeo – Castor Series

European/Canadian beginnings were very much about the fur trade. Though many types of furs were shipped back to Europe, it was Castor (The Beaver) that caused so much growth in the fur trade, and gave us Canada. The Castor Series pays homage to this animal that was the beginning of what would become the country we love as Canadians.


The words in our national anthem “We stand on guard” speak to my choice of the beaver stump in the Castor Series. When the beaver has cut and dragged away the tree, there, it seems – standing on guard – I think is truly one of the great Canadian icons – the beaver stump. At any time, in any season a grouping of beaver stumps seems to portray a sense of community – both in the stumps themselves, and in the animals that made them. Whether bright in the sun – freshly cut, or time greyed, the beaver stump speaks to our past and gives us collectively a national icon that engages the imagination of the present and the future.