RONALD WILLIAM BOLT, P.R.C.A.
oil on canvas
signed and dated ‘97; also signed, titled and dated 1997 on the reverse
60 ins x 66 ins; 152.4 cms x 167.6 cms
Canada’s impressive coasts have played a significant role in defining our history of settlement and economic development. The discovery of an abundant and seemingly endless supply of cod in the Atlantic ocean led to increased colonization, nation building [and destroying], trade wars and prosperity, and as with history the world over, “those who control the waves, control the world”.
The paintings of Ron Bolt (b.1938) often use as their subject this impressive and mighty coastline. Born in Toronto, Bolt was immersed in the tradition of Canadian landscape painting that defined our artistic past, however, Bolt shifted the focus from the rugged hills and mountains favoured by the Group and their admirers to the wild and sacred riverways and oceans that carve their way through our country or surround it.
While Sundance Atlantic is rendered in sharp detail, Bolt’s roots in abstraction and interest in photography are evident. Bolt also makes the decision not to include references to human geography and his rendition of the awesome force of the ocean is relative only to itself.
An environmentalist, Bolt’s paintings of the ocean are a reminder of the awe-inspiring beauty of the planet and are both an act of artistic and social intention.
Peter Lyon, “The Great Globe Itself: Continuity and Change”, In New Orientations: Essays in International Relations, Edited by E.F Penrose, Peter Lyon and Edith Penrose, Routledge, London and New York, 1970, page 15.
Leslie Poole’s Studio, Toronto
Private Collection, Toronto