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THE NEXT 7 DAYS:     EVENTS (9)     +     OPENINGS (1)     +     DEADLINES (7)     +     CLOSINGS (12)
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White Wall North Gallery presents:


Ice Hut # 983, New Liskeard, Lake Timiskaming, Ontario, Canada, 2017

Opening Reception: 20 April, 2017, 6 – 9 pm
Exhibition: 19 April – 7 June 2017
Artist Talk: 20 April, 2017, 7 pm
Framed Print Draw: 20 April, 2017, 8:30 pm

Please join us for the largest exhibition of Ice Huts, to date, at White Wall North Gallery aka The Framing Depot. There will be 100 framed prints illustrating the architecture of ice fishing from Canada’s 10 provinces. Richard will discuss his process and tell stories of this 10 year journey. A sample book will be on display. Pre-orders will be accepted as several publishers are being approached.


Excerpts from Reflections on the Most Basic Building by Mark Kingwell

“The ice hut is by definition a temporary construct, even when its physical form survives from year to year, as in those versions that arrive and leave on trailers. The ground here is itself temporary, the hard thick surface of a northern region with plenty of available waterway. Sometimes broad rivers, sometimes lakes, these ice surfaces form a natural threshold between the worlds of air and water. And then, at once piercing the threshold and uniting the realms runs the fishing monofilament – the line of “hope extended,” as Paul Quinnett has put it. The hut is another, second house that is also a non-house.”

“Set upon a foundation that cannot last, deliberately courting the vagaries of winter weather, the hut is a lesson in jerry-built hope. As Thomas Johnson said, this is not survivalism in the apocalyptic sense, but it is about survival. When a storm blows up, as it might at any time, the huts’ precarious position is made evident. The horizon disappears in the snow, where there is no visual line between ice and atmosphere. Whiteness without depth or perspective blankets everything. And now the brightly painted hut is a beacon, an island, a ship struggling upon a hostile sea. Every one of us knows the feeling of profound relief and comfort that rises within us when, after exposure, we reach a place of shelter and warmth. It is perhaps the most basic of human responses, the way a smell of woodsmoke even on an urban street can transport us immediately to the campfire, the cave, the fellowship of temporary safety. The weather, that unruly god, has been placated once more. We will not perish today.”

“And by considering, in this fashion, the hut as architectural form, Johnson has accomplished a number of significant and unique goals. He has, most obviously, created a stunning photographic record of a peculiar and apparently minor category of built form. Ice huts exist all over the northern reaches of the globe, and their variety and ingenuity is quite astounding. And yet, there has been no sustained critical attention given them by historians or theorists of architecture.”


Excerpt from Richard Johnson’s Ice Huts by Marcus Schubert

“In the examination of subjects as typologies, a rigorous process of collection is the key element in a photographer’s work. In league with early landscape photographers of the 19th century (Hill & Adamson, William Notman etc.) Johnson brings his audience close to unfamiliar territory. His eye muses over the uniqueness of each structure and its relationship to the landscape. Like specimens laid-out, or pinned up to illustrate the iterations of a particular species, we as viewers are invited to consider a catalogue of structures that reveal the evolution of a form. We see variations of an architecture specifically created to provide basic shelter. As with its distant cousins the native Teepee and Igloo, the Ice Fishing Hut has its own essential purpose. It must be weather resistant and transportable, giving basic shelter and access to the ground beneath it. As such its form dictates a unique structural condition.”

About the Artist: Richard Johnson
(Instagram: @leicameister)

(b. 1957, Hackensack, NJ, USA)
Richard studied Engineering and Interior Design in Ottawa and spent the early part of his career practicing in his field before establishing himself as an architectural photographer. His Ice Huts project is a natural extension of this, an examination of a particular type of vernacular architecture unique to the many regions of Canada. His large format photographs are displayed in Canadian Embassies worldwide as well as in major corporate and private collections. Richard lives in Toronto and works out of his Gallery / Studio.

About the Collection: Ice Huts

Johnson’s first introduction to Canadian ice fishing culture was a trip to Lake Timiskaming in 1991. The photos that came out of that were a personal record of the experience. It wasn’t until 2007 that he returned to the subject on Lake Simcoe. These images were formal studies and where he initially developed the project’s signature style: a typological series, with direct views of a single face of the hut against a backdrop of an overcast winter day. The following year, on a 2008 trip to Prince Edward Island, he looked out at a scene of ice fishing huts on a snowy winter day in Stewart Cove, Charlottetown. This was where the idea of a coast-to-coast narrative began to form in his mind. He set out to record the particular styles and cultures of ice fishing in each province, with a goal of traveling to a province a year. Over time, he has noted variations of each region influenced by climate, landscape and culture. Now in its tenth year, he has visited all ten provinces. In 2010, he discovered the winter phenomenon of Ice Villages. These temporary, seasonal communities where the huts are built too close to one another for individual portraits. Rather than architectural typologies, these large format panoramic images focus on landscape, place and community.

Framed Print Draw:
Ice Hut # 983, New Liskeard, Lake Timiskaming, Ontario, Canada, 2017
20” x 25” Edition 1/25. (value $1600)
On opening night Richard will draw the name of the successful ticket holder.
Framing generously donated by The Framing Depot.


Gallery Hours: Monday – Friday 9 – 6, Saturday 9 - 5

White Wall North Gallery
1335 Lawrence Ave East
Toronto, Ontario, M3A 1C6
647 258-0044





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