Look out for a beautiful humpback whale lantern this Deep Freeze

On Jan 11 and 12, be prepared to see a whale of a lantern hung above the Deep Freeze festival grounds.

Gabrielle deGouw is the artist creating this 22-foot long, 3-D whale lantern and explains more about her creation. She is experienced in making 3-D sculptures “that are hollow so that you can light them up.” deGouw has made these types of lanterns with her work at the Quarters Arts Society. For the past four years, she has worked in their lantern parade.

Even so, this lantern is a little different than normal. “It’s so large I have to find a whole new way to do it.”

The humpback whale, which deGouw describes as “visually, the most appealing” has been on her mind for awhile. “I’ve never had the resources to do it.”

This challenge started with her creating the design for the lantern. 

“I started by making a miniature version and calculated how big it would be for 22-feet. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around a 3-D shape,” she explains. At the time of the interview in December, she says, “I just started to build it and I expect it to take to the last minute.”

When finished, the lantern will hang above the street at the intersection beside the Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts. 

And that’s not all there will be to the sculpture. She adds, “Hung around the whale is going to be small orange fish [like koi]. We’re going to have the public make them.”

The lantern and its surrounding fish will go well with the festival’s theme: under the frozen sea. Better yet, the hollow lantern will be lit up and look especially magical at night.

“I’m hoping the lights will be bright enough to be seen during the day and bright during the night. After 5 o’clock will be the best time to look at it.”

Featured Image: Gabrielle deGouw and her pet magpie with the small model of the 3-D lantern she’s building for Deep Freeze. | Supplied