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LOT 002

1913 - 2007

Government Wharf at Crofton, BC
watercolour on paper
signed and dated 1971 and on verso signed, titled and dated
20 x 24 in 50.8 x 61 cm

Estimate: $40,000 - $60,000

Sold for: $79,250

Preview at:

Heffel Gallery Limited, Vancouver
Acquired from the above by a Private Collection, Edmonton, August 5, 1989
By descent to the present Private Collection, Vancouver

Jacques Barbeau, The E.J. Hughes Album: The Paintings, Volume 1, 1932 – 1991, 2011, the 1973 oil entitled The Government Wharf at Crofton reproduced page 52

Crofton, on the eastern shore of Vancouver Island, was one of E.J. Hughes’s favourite painting places. Over the years he depicted views of freighters at the Crofton pulp mill, beach scenes with the unusual dark sand found there, and the government wharf with the iconic small car ferry that crossed to Vesuvius, on Salt Spring Island. This is an extraordinary watercolour packed with interesting details. In the foreground, lacy growth forms a screen, and to the right, an evergreen frames the image. Perched in bare branches are a kingfisher and a crow, watching their surroundings intently. Hughes demonstrates exquisite handling of rippling water, reflecting the forms of boats and shadows from the dock. In the ferry lineup is the familiar Volkswagen bus – in the 1970s, residents of Salt Spring Island (seen in the background) were known for their back-to-the-land alternative lifestyles. Hughes had a fascination for patterns, and he features the repeating forms of the dock supports and red rails in the fence above. Government Wharf at Crofton, BC is a tour de force of Hughes’s masterful technical abilities, but more than that, it is an atmospheric work that truly captures the peaceful beauty of the area.

Estimate: $40,000 - $60,000

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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