Renovations at the Harbour House Hotel in Ganges have revealed a 45-year-old mural painted by Alfred Temmel.
As a team of construction workers tore down drywall in the old beer parlour area of the hotel, a mural began to appear. The mural now sits open with pieces missing and glue stuck across the oil paint in big Xes.
“It just about brought tears to my eyes,” said Janet Cliffe, a local artist and muralist who has restored other uncovered works from Temmel. “Those murals always stayed buried in the walls.”
Cliffe said given the opportunity she would like to restore the recently uncovered scenes.
“I just want to preserve them before they get covered again,” she said.
However, the room-length, floor-to-ceiling mural cannot be restored without considerable investment, according to Harbour House general manager Erin Williams, so it will be covered back up.
“There is asbestos behind the mural . . . and we can’t really retouch [the existing mural] and try to recreate it there because it’s part of the fire escape route.”
The space will become a lounge bistro, opening sometime in the fall, said Williams.
For more information about the mural including an interview with Temmel, see the Salt Spring Archives.
For much more on this story, see the June 28, 2017 issue of the Driftwood newspaper.