He has said that his lifework is his effort to ask one question: What is life like? As Colville puts it, "You spend your whole life telling people what it's like to be alive." In order to affect this Colville has examined his surroundings in the Annapolis Valley, the shores of the Minas Basin, his home and his family. His children have been some of his models and Rhoda, his wife of 60 years has been the subject of many paintings.
He is very much aware of his age, the imminence of death, the legacy which he is living and the manner in which his mortality inspires his paintings. He understands that his work has stirred interpretation and sometimes controversy, telling the CBC's Life and Times "what troubles people about my work, in which they find mystery and intrigue, may well be the idea that ordinary things are important."
CBC has done an impressive interview with Mr. Colville recently and I felt privileged to watch it on my television. Canada is proud of this artist of provocative pieces which are recognizable around the world.
Alex Colville does not expect anything beyond this life. In the end we are all dead would summarize his view. Perhaps he might say that he has received honours and tributes enough to compensate for an afterlife. Do I wish that Colville embraced a biblical view of heaven and the architect of human life. Of course I do.
An interesting CBC audio interview with Colville Broadcast Date: Dec. 15, 1973 and entitled The vision of Alex Colville.
Copyright: A lovely site with his images. Any images here and elsewhere are the property of the artist. Used on this blog they are intended to give the artist deserved acclaim and to encourage the reader to pursue Colville art.