Kevin Haugan knew he wanted to do something with an interior wall of a new shop he built for his business.
But it was only when talking to the artist he commissioned for the project that a large mural emerged to cover the entire 12 by 32 surface.
It depicts two people, a man and a woman, standing at the prow of a Viking-style longboat sitting in a fjord underneath a dark purple wintery sky.
The two people represent the Norwegian heritage of Haugan’s father Darvin and the northwest aboriginal heritage of mother Rose.
“I thought it would be cool to have something a little bit different,” said Haugan, the owner of Triple H Bobcat of the mural painted by Vancouver artist Greg Gislason.
At first glance there appear to be vague shapes inside the longboat.
But look at those shapes several times and what appears is a crew bent over oars.
That’s exactly what Haugan says he was looking for – something that draws the attention of those examining the mural.
“Greg really researched this. He would go to the library and come back with ideas and we would go over them and we kind of pieced it together,” said Haugan of the creative process that went into the mural.
“So what we have is a bit of both [parents’] worlds,” explained Haugan of the final product.
Haugan said he had first thought something smaller, the size of an average painting, for instance, would be sufficient but changed his thinking when Gislason told him he wanted to use the entire wall.
The project took 10 days, finishing just in early January.
To guard against surface marks or damage, the mural has been covered with a protective clear coat.
Haugan founded Triple H Bobcat seven years ago and moved into the new shop last year.
His business has grown thanks to a contract with Haisla Business Operations, the business arm of the Haisla Nation which in turn has a larger contract with Rio Tinto for work on the latter’s $3.3 billion smelter modernization project.