The Ancestors

Standing slightly over 2.5 metres high, these cedar figures announce the main entrance to the Denman Island Natural Burial Cemetery. The Ancestors were created by local sculptor Michael Dennis to represent those who predecease us. They welcome all of us as we follow them.


Michael has lived on Denman Island for more than 30 years. His sculptures grace many Denman properties, including the Community Hall, the Activity Centre and the Craft Shop, as well as sites in places as far away as Ontario, San Francisco and England. To learn more, visit

Here is the artist’s statement.

In my sculpture I try to summon images of our ancestors.

These are the shadows they cast on the walls as they gathered around the fire
vague allusions to our humanity

to our forebears.

They stand before the burial ground to welcome us to where we all will go.