A renowned sculptor whose effigy of Tommy Douglas drew praise from the medicare founder's famous family has set her creative sights on honouring the NDP's modern-day icon.
Lea Vivot says she is planning three different bronze statues of Jack Layton and hopes to have them installed on Parliament Hill, in his Toronto riding and in Hudson, Que., where the late NDP leader was raised.
Vivot says she was inspired by Layton and came up with the idea while mourning his death.
"The moment I heard the news I started ... with my creation. I started to do some sketches and thinking about it," she told The Canadian Press.
Vivot said she has already made models of two of the sculptures, although she won't reveal them publicly.
One features Layton, an avid cyclist, on his bike. She would like to find a home for it in the federal riding of Toronto-Danforth which Layton represented.
"I would like to see him riding the bike because he would be the inspiration for future generations and fighting against the pollution."
The second features Layton, with his cane, moving up a set of stairs. She would like to see that one on Parliament Hill.
The third will feature Layton on a bench in Hudson.
Vivot said she hasn't been commissioned to do the work and isn't looking for money.
"I do this all spontaneously. I am doing it out of my own conviction because I feel that it has to be done. I cannot put the monetary dollar in the way of creation," she said. "I am not a beggar and I am not asking anybody for anything. If it is meant to be, it will happen."
The Czech-born Vivot currently lives in Kleinburg, Ont., but also has studios in New York, Acapulco and the Czech Republic. Her sculptures are in cities around the world, including in front of the National Library in Ottawa and Madison Square Gardens in New York.
Her likeness of Douglas was unveiled amid great fanfare last year in Weyburn, Sask. — the community where the socialist titan went from preacher to politician, eventually becoming premier of Saskatchewan and leader of the federal NDP.
The unveiling was attended by his grandson, actor Kiefer Sutherland, as well as Layton.
Vivot said she is not a member of the New Democrats, but she identifies with the philosophies of both Layton and Douglas.
"Nobody could commission me to do this because I was inspired by the men."