WILLIAM KURELEK, R.C.A.
Private Collection, Ontario
William Kurelek, Someone With Me, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, 1973, page 127.
Snow scenes number among William Kurelek’s most popular and beloved subjects. The Skating Party brings many generations of a family together in a playful narrative. Teetering on skates, both the old and the young tumble and zip across the ice clad in warm, vividly-coloured winter wear. While some are sure-footed on the slippery, blue surface, others are encouraged or supported by their loved ones to hold firm to their balance. There is an excitement and an energy to the wintry scene, a feeling of love and camaraderie, that remains unfettered by the cold.
Recalling his own childhood experiences of winter on the Manitoba prairies, Kurelek writes, “When (the blizzard is) over, there is an equally dramatic aftermath! A crystal clear sky and temperature down to 40 degrees or so below zero. The air is so crisp, clear and still that sounds carry in it like magic...” In The Skating Party, Kurelek takes the bitter out of the cold and replaces it with a magical, warm-glow usually reserved to a cup (or two) of cocoa.