PHOTOS: ‘Phengnominal’ gnome house constructed in Port Clements

Port Clements resident Kelly Whitney-Gould started working on “Ms. Gnomer’s Home 4 Wayward Folk” in April 2020. Situated on a tree stump on her corner lot property near the sani-station, the gnome house was completed about a month ago. (Karissa Gall/Haida Gwaii Observer)
“Ms. Gnomer’s Home 4 Wayward Folk,” created by Port Clements resident Kelly Whitney-Gould, stands well over five feet tall. Whitney-Gould estimates that it weighs at least a couple hundred pounds. (Karissa Gall/Haida Gwaii Observer)
Port Clements resident Kelly Whitney-Gould is pictured applying a mortar mix to the wire mesh frame for “Ms. Gnomer’s Home 4 Wayward Folk.” She completed most of the work on the gnome house outside for all to see. (Kelly Whitney-Gould/Submitted photo)
Port Clements resident Kelly Whitney-Gould is pictured putting the finishing touches on “Ms. Gnomer’s Home 4 Wayward Folk.” (Kelly Whitney-Gould/Submitted photo)
Soup and sandwiches are on the lunch menu at “Ms. Gnomer’s Home 4 Wayward Folk,” and the “frog’s eye soup” is free. (Karissa Gall/Haida Gwaii Observer)
A view of the back of “Ms. Gnomer’s Home 4 Wayward Folk,” including the Smurf-blue staircase and other whimsical ornaments. (Karissa Gall/Haida Gwaii Observer)
Kelly Whitney-Gould is pictured working on another gnome house that she completed earlier this year. She said it went into the 2020 All Islands’ Art Show and is currently being stored at the Haida Gwaii Museum. (Kelly Whitney-Gould/Submitted photo)
The gnome house that Port Clements resident Kelly Whitney-Gould submitted to the 2020 All Islands’ Art show earlier this year was made from cedar and topped with shingles. (Kelly Whitney-Gould/Submitted photo)
The intricate interior of the cedar gnome house submitted to the 2020 All Islands’ Art Show by Port Clements resident Kelly Whitney-Gould is pictured in this submitted photo. (Kelly Whitney-Gould/Submitted photo)

Legend has it most mythological gnomes live underground, though that is a bit of a misnomer for “Ms. Gnomer.”

The papier-mâché and cement creature, formed by Kelly Whitney-Gould, has opened a “Home 4 Wayward Folk” above ground in Port Clements, on a grassy corner near the sani-station.

ALSO READ: World’s largest gnome needs a new home

Whitney-Gould told the Observer she started the project in April after a tree was cut down outside her home. Rather than allow the stump to become an “eye sore,” she decided to do something special.

“I really enjoy the gnomes and I like doing whimsical kinds of pieces,” she said, adding that she finished the project about a month ago.

She built most of the gnome house outside on the stump for all to see, starting with a wire mesh frame before adding her mortar mix.

The finished piece — which she estimates weighs at least a couple hundred pounds — includes the Ms. Gnomer figurine, a posted lunch menu of sandwiches and free frog’s eye soup, a Smurf-blue staircase, wooden stained “glass” window, as well as adornments of mushrooms, marbles, seashells, and more.

She said notes of appreciation have been left at the gnome house since it was completed and loggers have stopped to shout out their thanks.

ALSO READ: Blending traditional art with realistic life-form

Whitney-Gould also built another gnome house earlier this year that went into the All Islands’ Art Show.

That one, currently inside the Haida Gwaii Museum, is made from cedar, topped with shingles, and filled with hardwood floors, furniture, and miniature books.

ALSO READ: Haida weaver wins three titles at Sealaska juried art show

Next, she hopes to create “some sort of gnome castle” somewhere in the village that would be big enough for kids to go inside and play.

As a resident with a background in tourism, she said it’s extremely valuable to demonstrate community pride through projects such as these.

“I really do feel that some of these projects are a real support to the community and they benefit the community in a lot of ways,” she said.

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