From the exhibit 'Through The Camera Lens; La Cloche 1900 - 1950' curated by Jon Charles Butler & Kerry Butler at the Art Gallery of Sudbury in 2018.
Artists in La Cloche
Franklin Carmichael and members of the Group of 7, along with their contemporaries, have quite a history with La Cloche starting in the 1920s.
Carmichael first came through here with his brother in law in 1924 only four years after the first Group of Seven exhibit. He was captivated by the La Cloche landscape and he returned here almost every year for the rest of his life.
The quality of light in La Cloche intrigued him and he spoke about its special qualities “ the laws of light didn’t always apply and the light bounced around so dramatically.’’
Carmichael’s La Cloche cabin and the beauty of this area created the perfect painting location for the Group of Seven, their contemporaries and hundreds of present day artists and photographers.
Canadian authors and historians, Jim and Sue Waddington estimate there are over 100 canvases painted by the Group of Seven of this area alone.
Arthur Lismer considered that he found himself as a painter at MacGregor Bay. He began visiting in the 1920s and continued to the 40s along with A. Y. Jackson and J. E. H. MacDonald. MacDonald also found his painting sites in McGregor Bay along with Lismer.
A. Y. Jackson first visited in the 1920s and he continued to come to the La Cloche area into the 50s, camping for up to a month at a time in Grace and Nellie Lakes. On October 10, 1940 Jackson hiked from Grace Lake to Willisville to meet with filmmakers from the National Film Board to begin filming the Canadian Landscape. Killarney Provincial Park
A. J. Casson began coming to the La Cloche area in the late 40s and continued into the 60s. Many of his most recognizable paintings such as White Pine were painted here. When we discussed this in 1985 he said if there was one place he’d like to go back to its La Cloche.
Many contemporaries of the Group joined them on their painting expeditions. Joachim Gauthier was a constant companion of Carmichael and Casson and he took the famous photo of Carmichael painting on his rock at Grace Lake in 1935.
Fred Haines, Eric Aldwinckle, Isabel McLaughlin, Charles Comfort, Yvonne McKague Housser, Anne Savage, Sir Fredrick Banting, York Wilson, Barker Fairley are just a few of their contemporaries who painted La Cloche in this era.
When A.Y. Jackson learned of plans to log the shores of Trout Lake in 1931, he rallied support for its protection. The result was the establishment of the first protected wilderness in the area. In 1964, the boundaries of Killarney Provincial Park were drawn and protected as a provincial wilderness park.
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