Field Day
Field Day
2007, 48" x 22", Oil on Canvas
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Visit Crescent School

See also: The Making of Field Day

A cool and gentle breeze guides the Choirmaster and his Choirboys over the festivities while they perform a choral melody at the Crescent School Field Day. The event takes place on the old Massey estate at Dentonia Park. History blends seamlessly as past and present combine in this idyllic and nostalgic pastoral scene.

Parents and friends watch intently from the shady edge of the playing field as the sack race competition rushes by. Some boys glide over the water and grass effortlessly while others jump with fervour and confidence emblematic of youth and the endless possibilities the future holds for them. One participant struggles in the water but is no less determined to succeed.

A young painter boy, oblivious to the excitement, focuses on an invisible canvas, allowing his imagination to guide his brush. He carefully creates a new reality around him. Mrs. Massey, her companion and four headmasters stand nearby, watching with great interest and pride as this unusual scene unfolds. In the background, the four pillars from the entrance to the original Massey home stand as a memory to the old school. In front of these pillars we find a student quietly contemplating a memorial stone dedicated to past alumni who went to war never to return.

Separate from the main attraction, another important event is taking place. The fabric of this day is light, fluid and malleable. Guided and spurred on by his coach and mentor and with enthusiasm and tenacity, a young competitor pulls his personal reality and future closer and closer. The harder he commits to this process, the more he alters its shape.

Startled by several toy airplanes flying over the stream, two brilliantly coloured ducks begin a playfully pursuit adding to the alacrity of the moment.

Beaming with success and accomplishment, a smiling student accepts a congratulatory handshake while Canada's Governor General, the Earl of Athlone watches the award presentation. Once the excitement of the day has ended, a bus waits patiently to drive the tired participants home. Even the interior of the vehicle offers an atmosphere of dreams and aspirations. And finally, in the leaves of the trees directly above the bus, appears the spirit of Mr. Williams, Crescent School's past headmaster, proudly overlooking the entire proceedings.

Although serious in its underlying message, this day is one of fun.