Posted by: bluelanternstudio | August 31, 2012

Waterways of Wonder: Curiosities from Port Moody, the Burrard Inlet and Beyond

I’ve had so much fun this summer, poking around beaches at low tide with my family, collecting strange and beautiful objects for my Cabinet of Curiosity. The Cabinet is now full of wonders and on display at the Port Moody Arts Centre until September 30. Here’s an image of the full cabinet:

Waterways of Wonder: Curiosities from Port Moody, the Burrard Inlet and Beyond (A Cabinet of Curiosity by artist Robi Smith)

In curating the cabinet, I intended for the contents to flow from ocean to freshwater, from left to right, and then from the sea floor on the bottom shelf to land and then sky at the top. It didn’t work out 100% given the materials I ended up working with, but I stuck to the pattern as much as possible.

Here is the top left shelf, which shows a glass jar filled with raven’s feathers (sky), glass fishing floats (ocean’s surface), a rope found on a secluded rocky beach on Gambier Island, and a painting of mine of a capelin in Burrard Inlet.

Top left section of the Cabinet of Curiosity (Artist Robi Smith)

The bottom of the middle section is filled with shells found on beaches in the Gulf Islands and Howe Sound:

Bottom middle section of Robi’s Cabinet of Curiosity

Throughout the cabinet are sepia-toned photographs I took of strange and large objects and places I encountered in the area. Adding these images gave me a way of including things I found that wouldn’t be possible to fit in the cabinet, such as a set of bear tracks, a decaying old wooden boat, and the ruins at the Old Mill site in Port Moody.

Ruins – Old Mill Site, Port Moody (photo: Robi Smith)

You can see more photographs in the Cabinet here. If you’re interested in seeing the Cabinet in person, here’s the Port Moody Arts Centre’s website for details about hours and location. I’d love your feedback!



  1. What a wonderful display. You must have enjoyed collecting the items and putting them together. Great job!

  2. Thanks Darlene!

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