First Easter Sunrise: Gregory Hartnell’s lost Dorchester mural, in a condo overlooking Oak Bay, circa 1985: ‘depicted Easter morning, as described in the Gospels, and showed Mary Magdalene on the far right, near the balcony window, gesturing to the rising sun, symbol of the Risen Christ’

ML# 258259

THE DORCHESTER: ENTRANCE, WESTERN FACADE
THE DORCHESTER’S EASTERN FACADE OVERLOOKS BEACH DRIVE AND OAK BAY
Sunday, November 6, 2011 10:54:17 AM
GREGORY HARTNELL, ARTIST-HISTORIAN
1357 Rockland Avenue
Victoria V8S1V7
Tel. 250 382 97 67
CAMPAIGN FOR OAK BAY TAX LIBERTY:
Thanks for your interest in my artistic history as it pertains to the Dorchester.
Gregory Hartnell‘s parents, Peter George Hartnell and Sheila Mary Margaret Hartnell (nee Turnbull)
at 1346 Rockland Avenue, Victoria, with eight of their nine children.
Our dearly departed brother, Jerome Henry Hartnell, was an early victim of the phoney ‘war on drugs’.
My late parents, Peter George Hartnell and Sheila Mary Margaret Hartnell (nee Turnbull) owned a condominium in the Dorchester in the mid eighties, and they commissioned me to paint a wall mural, approximately 17 feet by 7 feet high, in one of the east-facing units on the second or third floor.
Ocean View From Balcony
Sorry I can’t remember the number of the unit, but I do remember that it faced east toward the park.
 I distinctly remember looking across the park during the weeks I spent on that mural, across Oak Bay to Cadboro Bay beyond, looking over there like Gatsby in Fitzgerald’s famous novel to the lights on the far shore, where my lost love lived…
So, basically, I was feeling sorry for myself during the painting of that mural because of the failure of a doomed romance.
I took photos with a 35 millimetre camera of the mural when it was finished, and those snap shots are somewhere in my basement, in boxes that have yet to be properly catalogued.
[Photos used in this post are from the website of the Owen-Flood Real Estate firm, linked in the ‘Comments’ and show a similar plan to the 1985 Dorchester condo owned by my parents which I describe in this letter to an Oak Bay historian.]
Living Room View To Balcony
The mural was done in acrylic-latex, and depicted Easter morning, as described in the Gospels, and showed Mary Magdalene on the far right, near the balcony window, gesturing to the rising sun, symbol of the Risen Christ.
Living Room - View From Balcony
Over the fireplace I painted an androgynous angel with purple and turquoise wings, using the fireplace to represent the tomb.
Three other female figures were shown representing the women who accompanied the Magdalene, rushing from left to the real Light on the right, only to see the empty tomb.
It was the biggest painting I have ever painted, but was apparently painted over by new owners, after my parents sold the condo around 1985 through the realtor Eric Charman.
Sorry I can’t help you much more than that, but if I find the photos in my inventory, I will get back to you so we can make digital copies of them.
I am slowly going through all those boxes in the crawl space, and it is amazing to me what I am discovering down there!
Blessings to you and your family.
Gregory Hartnell
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2 Responses to First Easter Sunrise: Gregory Hartnell’s lost Dorchester mural, in a condo overlooking Oak Bay, circa 1985: ‘depicted Easter morning, as described in the Gospels, and showed Mary Magdalene on the far right, near the balcony window, gesturing to the rising sun, symbol of the Risen Christ’

  1. goyodelarosa says:

    Modern Democracy’s video of the first Oak Bay All Candidates’ meeting on November 4, 2011, Monterey Centre.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/moderndemocracy

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