Meet Rabi’a – “Woman of Steel”

Meet Rabi’a – “Woman of Steel”

Rabi’a greeted us at her gate with a hello, a hug, and a request to help her flip over a twelve foot long sheet of ¼ inch steel cut into the shape of a woman. It was a glimpse at her next project; the woman of steel to be clad in colourful ceramic tiles. [See photo of “Dancing Myself” updated below and the sculpture on public display in Castlegar, B.C.] It was perhaps a fitting symbol of this “woman of steel,” as Rabi’a’s boundless energy was apparent while she toured us around her property. That energy has transformed what was once a bare lot on the Slocan River into a beautifully treed sanctuary and also home to her bed and breakfast, The Artful Lodger. You will find an experience of cozy strawbale cottages, a solar shower (trust me, it’s very hot!), organic gardens and orchard, a boardwalk to the Slocan River, and of course the eclectic one-of-a-kind garden art sculptures created by Rabi’a. As we walked around the property it was evident that her outdoor art sculptures were as much a part of the décor of her acreage as were the variety of abundant trees she planted, each piece lending its own personality to the surroundings.

From Rabi’a’s history of homesteading and permaculture she is clearly a do-it-yourself person. That trait has extended to not only building the boardwalk shown in the included photos, where she hauled in 120 used tires for the base of it, but also to learning how to weld. That skill, combined with her creativity led to the creation of “Huge and Foolish“, a piece shown in Castlegar’s Sculpture Walk 2011 and purchased by the Columbia Basin Trust which now has it on display in Castlegar, B.C. for everyone to enjoy.

The "Huge and Foolish" mold

"Huge and Foolish"

Our visit with Rabi’a concluded with a tour of her strawbale cottages and a nice cup of tea, scrumptious dried apples and intensely flavoured dried tomatoes in her welcoming home; these goodies post-harvest bounty from her garden and orchard. Thank you for your hospitality Rabi’a.

“Dancing Myself”

Please click here for a more extensive look at Rabi’a’s art and enjoy the last two photographs below of views from Rabi’a’s property. Please feel free to leave a comment in the “Leave a comment” section below.

4 Responses to Meet Rabi’a – “Woman of Steel”

  1. Sandra Lange says:

    I seem to be quite consistent at leaving comments through the Artsquest site, but I have had so much enjoyment reading the articles and learning about the local Artisans through-out the Provinces.
    All of the Artisans and artwork are unique in their own individual way, and I am eager to explore more of their artwork( and Music) firsthand.Looking at the latest:The Artful Lodger and its creator Rabi’a, I am eager to visit the cabins and you sure can’t beat the price!!Plus it includes breakfast!!
    I was raised on Vancouver Island but have not explored the area past Vancouver,B.C..With the information shared by the Artsquest site…I am eager to spend my next vacation doing just that.Way To GO Artsquest:)

  2. Beate says:

    Amazing! I mean the wonderful woman, the art, the landscape, everything.

  3. Olga says:

    Visited this artist and stayed at the bale cabin. Amazing. Her work is full of surprises and exploration. It was a real treat.

  4. Olga Piedrahita says:

    I have visited Rabia several times, the last time in 2015. I never tire of the wonders I can find in her property. From one year to the next she has new projects on the go and surprises. An amazing artist and wonderful human being.

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