Making A Group of Seven Connection
It’s no secret that Canada’s premier group of landscape artists spent a lot of time in Algoma Country. Shortly after the first world war, members of the Group of Seven painted the inland lakes and rivers within the rugged country along the Algoma Central Railway. They also made eight trips to Superior’s North Shore between 1921 and 1928, producing hundreds of paintings. Their work during this period resulted in widely-known pieces like Lawren Harris’ North Shore, and Arthur Lismer’s Sombre Isle of Pic.
The same things that make Algoma Country such a great painting destination also make it a wonderful place to take photographs. Add the fact that much of the landscape appears as it did 100 years ago and living, playing, and photographing in Algoma Country is particularly rewarding.
I learned that the Group of Seven’s A.Y. Jackson was co-owner of a log cabin on Sandy Beach near Wawa. Throughout the 1950s, he was often seen painting the coastal landscape around Michipicoten. With the recent resurgence of interest in Canada’s premier landscape artists, more than half a dozen A.Y. Jackson paintings from the Michipicoten area have been found.
This is of particular interest because I have taught photography workshops out of Naturally Superior Adventures on the coast of Lake Superior at the mouth of the Michipicoten River. With new paintings being found, it’s exciting to get out on the land and visit known sites and try and find those that have not yet been identified.
Visiting an A.Y. Jackson painting site allows us to shoot a similar scene, focus on parts of the composition or shoot a composition of our own. From a photographic point of view, we really can’t lose.
Read More Blogs Written by James Smedley About the Group of Seven in Algoma:
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