This is an excerpt for a Created Here Magazine story : www.createdhere.ca. The rest of the story can be found in the hard-copy of the magazine.
The following article excerpt was written by Yolande Clark.
Set against an azure expanse of sky, the object flutters, and dips, diving
towards the ground, and then rearing up. On the other end of the thread, a
girl stands rooted in place, mesmerized by the dance she is witnessing,
skyward. Arrayed above, the thing is alive, if by proxy, tethered to the
earth by only a slight filament.
Across the field, closer to the dirt road, a tall man kneels to make
adjustments to another one of these winged creatures, patiently tying a
knot, before gently handing it to the child who is waiting to soar.
The man is Leland Wong-Daughterty, and I have known him as a talented
artist, designer and craftsman for many years. He is a builder of
beautiful homes, an illustrator, creator of bentwood furniture, weaver of
baskets, and a father and husband. Leland is also someone who, more than
anyone else I have encountered, embodies mindfulness, respect, optimism and
love, through his making. And yet, I still had to suspend my disbelief when
he told me that he had decided to focus his energy on the pursuit of one of
his long-time passions: Kite-making.
Kites? One might wonder. After all, many of us associate kites and
kite-flying with the ephemera of a bygone era, or with dollar-store fabric
and plastic—disposable items, without much significance beyond a passing
diversion. But for Leland, kite-maker, the kite is a sacred thing. "I
don’t think kites are given the regal quality that they deserve”, he says.
“I wanted beautiful fabric, with lovely images that are really done well,
using beautiful natural materials, not ripstop nylon and carbon fibre
rods--I’m not downgrading that, because I think there is a place, but what
I’m interested in is the kite as sort of ceremony."
Leland’s recently launched “Little Cloud Kites” are not just regal, they
are works of art. The most immediately striking aspect of these works is
their vibrant imagery. Rendered with intense colour and executed
meticulously, but with a concurrent sense of ease and joyful abandon, each
kite features an element or dreamscape from the natural world. “Red Tail”
is both story and symbol: an eagle in profile, outstretched like a pennant,
reaches for the sun while snowflakes fall, moving the forest below into
winter. “Quetzal”, is a simple repeating pattern, made extraordinary
through the luscious use of watercolour pigments that bead and bleed in
such a way as to suggest the iridescence of fin or feather, or a macro view
of the delicate scales on a butterfly’s wing."
“I feel that the kite is a bridging of spirit; it’s a close connection to the spirit world because it’s made of such little stuff—it’s material, but because it’s so ineffable, it’s closer to the spirit realm. There are all these these symbolic aspects: the thread connecting us, connecting heaven and earth.” Leland Wong-Daugherty