Welland by Phillip Woolf, Toronto, Ontario. Painted in 1989, at 14 King
Street (James Jewellery), 60' by 14'. This is the first of two murals illustrating
the commercial life of early Welland. The mural captures the interior of
an early storefront as well as the pedestrian traffic at the street corner,
in the late 1800s.
theme suggested a triptych to me, but instead of three separate panels
(store interiors, exteriors, and outdoor advertisements on the wall), I
merged the three elements into one. I tried to paint the mural in the same
style as my studio work, but due to the monumental scale, I had to sacrifice
a few minor elements of detail without reducing the effect of the mural."
main difficulty with mural painting is the huge scale. I didn't have any
problem transferring the maquette to the wall, but the October weather
hindered my progress. Strong winds would blow the paint off the top of
the brush and there was a lot of rain. I had to wait until the dew, which
formed overnight on the mural, had evaporated before I could start work.
The paint was a little difficult to work with, but it was also the best
for this type of painting. Every day was an event. The people of Welland
were very supportive, cheering me on to the finish!"
Virtual Guide's Comments
the artist presents us with a turn of the century streetscape in downtown
Welland. The mural is made more interesting by the addition of vignettes
created when we look through shop windows to see a more intimate side of
town life. The streets are clean, the citizens are well dressed and commerce
appears to be flourishing. The man with the shovel, who dominates the foreground,
may well suggest the manual labour behind the scenes upon which so much
of Victorian prosperity was based. Whatever the case, the mural leaves
no doubt that turn of the century Welland was a substantial enterprise
with a great future.
the Artist: Phillip Woolf, Toronto, Ontario
graduate of the Ontario College of Art and the University of Toronto, Phillip
currently teaches art in the Continuing Education Department of Weston
Technical School. He has also taught drawing to both adults and young children
and has spent time in Florence, Italy, undertaking post-graduate studies.
recent exhibitions include a large solo show at the Galerie Rochon in Toronto.
He has completed a 1,500 square foot mural in Toronto. This project was
an elevated external art wall of aluminum panels. He was involved in all
stages of the process, from designing the maquette to overseeing the execution
of the final product.
he is a talented muralist, he specializes in watercolour paintings. he
explained the difference between the two mediums, saying "Watercolours
are small and transparent while murals are huge and opaque." He describes
his art in the following way, "My work is a form of realism with a large
was instrumental in establishing a new award to be granted annually to
a graduating student of the Ontario College of Art for the best achievement
in Fine Arts. His "Downtown Welland" mural was featured in Macleans magazine
in September 1990.