Title: Ice Huts 2007 – 2020
Toronto photographer Richard Johnson has aimed his attention upon this culture of ersatz hinterland voyageurs and the unique architecture they create. In his typology style survey, Johnson presents us with an array of variations; an exploration that is as much a record of his journey to the vast, wintry wilderness of sporting leisure as it is a striking document of the temporary, idiosyncratic structures that appear upon its pale horizon. 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. The conventions used in the making of these curious buildings seem universal in conception but highly individual in execution; a form of renegade architecture that verges on the development of a vernacular folk art tradition. This decade long body of work has over 1000 Ice Huts from Canada’s 10 provinces, coast to coast, and he is now continuing with locations in the northern USA.