Richard Johnson is a photographer based in Toronto, Canada who has worked for 18 years as interior designer specializing in retail design and lighting. For his project “Ice Huts”, Richard has spent much of the last eight years traveling across Canada to capture the primitive, portable shelters people use for ice fishing on lakes and bays.
These temporary structures are a haphazard mix of sheet metal, faux wood paneling, and waterproof tarps, providing a bit of shelter who are ice fishing, Johnson has also found regional differences in the huts. “Saskatchewan is the most interesting as they have the highest per capita ownership of pick-up trucks and the huts have to fit in the back of the trucks to be driven to the location so they have a distinctive notch on the underside,” he says.
As with its distant cousins the native Teepee and the 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. These provisional shelters offer a colourful glimpse into the Canadian culture of Ice Fishing. Faux wood paneling, sheet metal, tarpaulins, peak roofs, modified camping trailers all fulfil the requirement for shelter.
Since he began the project in 2007, Johnson has photographed more than 800 huts in all ten provinces of Canada.