This is the final canvas in Kurelek’s series An Immigrant Farms in Canada, which details the journey of farming families from Ukraine to Western Canada and eventually to Southern Ontario. It presents an elevated view of Kurelek’s parents’ farm in Vinemount, Ontario.
But disquieting elements undermine the painting’s function as a sincere celebration of social mobility. A Christ figure appears in the bottom-left foreground, crucified on a dead tree and surrounded by ravenous dogs that clamour over the spilled blood. More foreboding still is the giant mushroom cloud on the horizon.