CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Gervais, C.H.
Waterloo (Ont.), Penumbra Press, 1992. 128pp, paper, $24.95, ISBN 0-921254-377. Distributed by University of Toronto Press. CIP.

Grades 11 and up/Ages 16 and up

Reviewed by Gary Robertson

Volume 20 Number 5
1992 October

People in Struggle is a study of a man who has spent a lifetime drawing and painting the human experience. There is a certain amount of didactic narrative in the ink drawings and paintings of people on picket lines, in war zones, in desperate situations of poverty, unemployment and armed conflict, but they are sincere artistic impressions in the tradition of Degas, Lautrec and Kollowitz.

Bill Stapleton is a devoted socialist and a sensitive, persuasive artist who has earned passage into the darker sides of human existence in Canada, Central America and overseas. The book is, for the most part, a series of questions and answers, making it somewhat autobiographical in style. This is augmented with good insights into Stapleton's humanitarian involvements and concerns, with the discussion of art as a secondary aspect of the test.

There is a basic problem with the book. The emphasis is on the life story of a minor player in the "socialist" cause whose main contribution has been through his art. Yet the reproductions are generally quite small (5 x 7 cm). The publisher then chose to print the book on buff-coloured paper, which diminishes the contrast and impact of the art.

The book is well bound and enjoyable to read. While it is not recommended either for the great significance of any major social or political contributions of Stapleton or for his art, it is a good tribute lo a fine gentleman. This book is appropriate reading for senior high school levels.

Gary Robertson is an art teacher and Head of the Fine Arts Department at Thorn Collegiate in Regina, Saskatchewan

line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission Copyright information for reviewers

francaisDigital Collections / Collections Numérisees francais