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Welland's Murals:
12. Triathlon

About the Mural
Triathlon by Paul Elliott, Toronto, Ontario. Painted in 1988, at 285 East Main Street (YMCA), 327 square feet. The Mike Burwell Memorial Triathlon, an annual Welland event, is depicted in this three panel mural. This race is a significant feature of the summer in Welland, attracting 300-400 competitors. From left to right, the viewer captures the intensity of the runner, cyclist and swimmer. The artist used "blobs of colour" to depict form. On one panel, the artist has painted the triathletes running by the mural on the YMCA. The result is a mural within a mural.

This painting was dedicated to the Burwell Family.

The Artist's Interpretation
"I knew about the Mike Burwell Triathlon, and they [Festival of Arts] gave me a theme of sports. It was so fitting. The sun does bother this paint. It's the highest quality type of paint in any weather conditions. I particularly enjoy painting murals because of the 'larger than life' aspect. I like public art because I feel it's something the community can call their own. The reason I paint murals is because anyone can see them. You don't have to go to a gallery and wear a tie."

Your Virtual Guide's Comments
One of the most disquieting mural, Triathlon conveys a starkness in its depiction of athletes pushing themselves to the limit. Muscles bulge; the faces are contorted with the immensity of the effort, yet there seems to be something darker in their expressions as well. In the best traditions of the "trompe l'oeil" or "eye fooling" technique, Elliott plays visual tricks on us by placing a mural within a mural within a mural, a rather lighthearted contrast to the straining athletes. 

About the Artist: Paul Elliott, Toronto, Ontario
Paul Elliott is a Toronto native who studied animation at Sheridan College and fine arts and design at Central Technical School Arts Department. He has completed several large-scale paintings in Toronto including four indoor works and two outdoor murals.

Paul is involved in a wide range of artistic pursuits, including design of album jackets and music video art direction. He particularly enjoys painting murals because of the "larger-than-life aspect."

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