There are currently 16 trees on the London Tree Trunk Tour, but now only 15 stops. If you are visiting London from outside of the city, there is a good chance that one of your first stops after leaving Highway 401 will be the London Tourism Visitors Centre.
Mother Nature, most likely due to issues with that trunk's structural stability in its old Queens Av. location. The Visitor's Centre is about a ten minute drive from downtown, so its not a walking tour, by any means. Having more that one sculpture in the same place does give people more of an opportunity to stop and take a look at what they are all about.
'Eldon House' is somewhat similar to 'Charles S. Hyman' in its construction. There are a few elements which were carved into the trunk itself, and many other parts of the design are plaques made in a workshop and attached to the tree once it was finished in this location.
There is, unlike any of the other stops on the tour, a commemorative plaque in front of the trunk, which gives a little bit of info about the carving, and also promotes Eldon House itself.
The trunk has large, rough, rounded flowers at the top, which look like daisies, or perhaps peonies, London's official flower. They face both the front and back of the piece.
The elements that relate to Eldon house itself are divided into 8 separate areas on the trunk. Two designs are placed every 90 degree turn around the tree, giving the carving 4 different 'faces' to look at.
The front face has an owl's face recessed into the top and carved in relief. It was carved from the solid piece of trunk. The bottom is a front view of Eldon house with its wide veranda.
Travelling around the trunk counter-clockwise, the next face is two portraits, Amelia Ryerse Harris above, and John Harris below. These images appear to have been created from scans of official portraits inside the house.
The rear face of the carving has a compass on the top. John Harris was a surveyor in the British Navy, and one of the initial surveyors when Upper Canada was being mapped. This is likely what the compass represents. Below, there is a view of one of the ladies of Eldon House in the dining room. The house was well known at the time for its hospitality. That reputation was not harmed by the fact that the Harris family had seven daughters to court.
The fourth face's plaques picture an elephant's foot umbrella stand, and a military soldier in a doorway. The umbrella stand is a well known trophy, collected by John's grandson George Henry Ronalds Harris during his time in Africa. The soldier is, if you look closely, somewhat transparent, which makes me think he represents the ghost of Eldon House. This story seems to have a higher level of interest than when I visited Eldon House on school field trips as a child.
The signature is a subtle one again. The initials of Neil Cox, and Mary-Ann Jack-Bleach, the collaborating artists, are carved into
the trunk, above a date of 2010.
Although this is not a movie, I do have bonus footage! Check out the arrival and completion of this tree carving, courtesy of Tourism London.
Return to the Tree Trunk Tour Overview Page
Check out all the entries using the London Art Map
Curious about this artist? Try Neil Cox's Links