Painting the past

Arts & Entertainment Community Featured

A picture of a scene once enjoyed by a community, a scene of Boat Harbour, serene and calm with a small boat and a fisherman, will be enjoyed by Pictou Landing First Nation once again at the end of January.

On Jan. 31 a mural depicting an old Boat Harbour, pre-treatment plant, will be put up in the community with a countdown beginning one year out from the remediation date of Boat Harbour. Pictou Landing First Nation artist Cheryl Denny is the painter behind the mural that will display the community-wide countdown.

Denny, who is known as a painter in the community, said the photo was given to her as she was approached to complete the mural.

“I do small eight by ten pictures, so nothing like this,” Denny laughed as she looked at the large board that measures around seven feet tall and six feet wide. “I was proud to be asked.”

Denny is excited about the remediation project so she was happy to help with the countdown project.

“There will be a sign here and numbers that will flip,” she explained about the lower half of the painting. Someone from the community will change the countdown numbers daily to show how many days are left before the remediation project begins on January 31, 2020.

She also mentioned that the painting will feature a line of Mi’kmaq that translates into: “Let us work together and clean up Boat Harbour.”

“I didn’t expect (the painting) to be this big but I love doing it, the challenge,” said Denny who was happy to be able to paint the sepia coloured scenery. Having painted for as long as she can remember and only having taken a few lessons, Denny said she usually paints in oils and acrylics and mainly landscapes, making this acrylic landscape painting perfect for her first leap into a bigger artwork.

Denny is excited for the community to see how beautiful the land was before the pollution and hopes they will think of that when they see the painting on the countdown.


Cheryl Denny works on her large Boat Harbour painting at the fisheries building in Pictou Landing First Nation on Monday afternoon. (Brimicombe photo)