Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Train ride to Wawa, in the footsteps of the Group of Seven and Glen Gould

We spent a weekend north of Sault Ste Marie with academics who are part of CAPT - the Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains and who gave us insightful talks about the Group of Seven, particularly AY Jackson who they were honouring on this trip, and Glenn Gould who spent a lot of time in the area.
On Saturday we started our journey in the rail yard in the Soo so we had a few minutes to wander around and check out the rolling stock and the steel mills in the background.

Once aboard the train it was difficult to take great pictures.  The constant movement of the train, coupled with a steadily worsening weather didn't lend itself to good shots.  But we could see that the scenery was spectacular, and the fall colours were just beginning with brilliant reds that we don't often see around our cottage in the Townships.  And it was interesting to find out that the artists would take this same train route up the Agawa canyon, get off in the middle of the bush with their supplies and their canoes and spend weeks painting.  Joanie McGuffin gave a wonderful talk and used pictures taken by her husband of the area in the fall.  She also showed photographs that he took from the very same spot that the artists probably used to create their works - and she showed the paintings too so we could see the juxtaposition.

The Wawa Motor Inn (motel) has been here for quite a while.  Glenn Gould was a regular guest and would draw inspiration from the local area, especially the falls.

Sometimes the artists would take one of these velocipedes to travel along the rail from place to place. 


Heather Dubreuil said...

What gorgeous photos, Dianne. Some of the scenes are really enhanced by the mist. Some nice compositions here too. Any chance you're inspired to take up painting?

Anonymous said...

Such a quintessential Canadian area! I remember the Wawa Inn from tree-planting days. Are you and Robbie planning on expanding your modes of transport from bike trips to velosipede tours? ;)