John Hartman

John Hartman: Byng Inlet — Doug Wright, 2014

Byng Inlet — Doug Wright, 2014, oil on linen, 60 x 66 inches

Byng Inlet — Doug Wright

The Wright’s were commercial fishermen operating out of Britt in Byng Inlet. When the fishery collapsed in the fifties, George Wright slowly turned the co-op ice plant and warehouse into a marina and taxi boat service. Doug took over from his father and has recently passed the business on to his daughter and son-in-law. When I first started to come to this area to camp with my family on an island in Norgate Inlet Doug sold me an old Geisler wooden boat and a used 20 hp engine. That boat is painted floating above the swamp behind the marina. My hand holds a vice-grip wrench in the lower left corner of the painting, the tool of choice when the correct tool is not at hand. The Magnetewan River enters Georgian Bay here and its widening forms Byng Inlet, the deep blue water running up the centre of the painting. Oil tankers come down the inlet to offload diesel fuel for the CPR. On the horizon is an image of my friend, the artist, Doug Moore who lived on his floating house, the Bateau Lavoir, here each summer for two decades. The cross on the horizon is a memorial cross that sits at the mouth of Cunningham’s Channel commemorating the loss of the Petrino family who drowned at this point when their car broke through the ice.