CHEK Upside: Deep Cove woman creates art from beach debris

CHEK Upside: Deep Cove woman creates art from beach debris

As a documentary producer, Janet Thomson was always all-in on the stories she was covering.

“You come up with a story idea, you don’t let it go until it’s finished, you take stuff in you take stuff out,” says Thomson.

When the former Ontario resident moved to Vancouver Island three years ago her beach walks would always yield trinkets, whether it was a piece of glass, rusty nails hammered into wooden boards or other misshapen objects.

“First of all I thought I didn’t want to pick up the beach wood because I want everybody to be able to enjoy it in its natural habitat,” says Thomson.

“Then I started seeing these pieces that were like really who would care about this, and started to think about making little creatures.”

During the pandemic, Thomson began turning her beach debris discoveries into pieces of art.

“I had my Saanich Inlet, my cabin and my garden which I had just started putting together and I thought it would be nice to have some little creatures populating the garden,” says Thomson.

“That’s kind of how it started, then it turned into an addiction.”

Transforming the discarded items into desirable works of art hearkens back to Thomson’s early days producing documentaries.

“A lot of my documentaries were about subjects that just not everyone else was interested and some of my co-producers started saying ‘Janet likes doing redemption stories about redeeming things that other people see as castaways,'” says Thomson.

“That’s kind of what I see here too.”

With a little bit of encouragement from friends and family as well as the need to free up some shed space, Thomson is now selling her creations to help give back to the environment she so cherishes.

“I’m giving 50 percent of anything that’s sold or any of the profits I guess back to this society called the Saanich Inlet Protection Society,” says Thomson.

Thomson’s art will be on sale June 5 at the Sidney Outdoor Market.

Cole SorensonCole Sorenson

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