This artist created a mural to pay tribute to the history of hard-working women in the fishery

A Petty Harbour painter drew on historical inspiration for a new community-minded work.

Petty Harbour painter drew on historical inspiration for a new community-minded work

Ginok Song points to a star that represents the actual physical location of the working women in the mural. (Rafsan Faruque Jugol/CBC)

The fishery in Newfoundland & Labrador has long been the lifeblood of rural Newfoundland and Labrador. Now an artist has created a wide canvas — a mural — to pay respect to the women who have made their way in an industry that is often viewed as male-dominant. 

Artist Ginok Song, who has been living in Petty Harbour for more than 20 years, is well aware of the contribution women have made in the fishing business, particularly in seafood processing.

"We all know women worked hard in the fishery, but I didn't see much imagery around," she said in an interview with CBC Radio's The Broadcast

"This is a good opportunity to represent all the women who worked hard in the fishery." 

Song created a new mural at the municipal office office building in Petty Harbour-Maddox Cove, a fishing town

"I came up with a drawing, and they let us paint this mural," she said. 

The background is "old Petty Harbour," as she describes it. In the foreground are what she describes as "beautiful, hard-working" women. 

The artwork depicts the inshore fishery, the mainstay of the local economy for centuries, using archival pictures of Petty Harbour as reference material.

Song painted her mural at the town office in Petty Harbour-Maddox Cove. (Submitted by Ginok Song)

The original photo was likely taken by an employee at the local hydroelectric power station, according to Song. It was likely taken in the early 1900s, soon after the construction of the station had finished.

The realism of the artwork not only attempts to portray the past but also attempts to add spatial awareness to the depicted characters.

The reference photo for the mural depicts Petty Harbour in the early 20th century. Also seen is the initial design of the mural. (Rafsan Faruque Jugol/CBC)

There is a blue star on one of the characters in the mural, signifying the women's exact location at Petty Harbour. If one were to go back to the past, and look across the harbour, the same women would be working around the depicted spot, according to Song.

Song, who works in Petty Harbour studio, hopes to display more of her work to the public in the future.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador


Rafsan Faruque Jugol

Video Journalist

If you have any tips or concerns regarding the work of journalist Rafsan Faruque Jugol, who is the Peter Gzowski intern for 2021, you can reach him at After spending time in Happy Valley-Goose Bay and St. John's, Rafsan is currently working as a video journalist in Whitehorse.

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