Painted Land: In Search of The Group of Seven
A Painted Land: In Search of the Group of Seven follows authors and wilderness photographers Joanie and Gary McGuffin, and art historian Michael Burtch as they search for the locations visited by Canada’s most celebrated landscape painters who captured the spirit of the land, water, and skies of northern Ontario in the 1920’s. Many of the Group of Seven’s canvases and sketches have become iconic representations of the Canadian soul. Filmed on location in the Algoma region and along the north shore of Lake Superior, the film combines original photography, archival materials, paintings and re-creations.
One would think The Group of Seven needs no introduction. Their iconic works are known to millions of Canadians, yet few are familiar with the lives of the artists themselves. Why did they choose locations in the remote, rugged wilderness of northern Ontario? Does anyone know precisely where they went?
Past meets present in a film that is evocative in approach, energized by breathtaking cinematography and an uplifting musical score, and offers a new and articulate voice to the artists who were the Group of Seven. Painted Land weaves seamlessly the experiences of Lawren Harris, J.E.H. MacDonald, A.Y. Jackson, Frank Johnston, Arthur Lismer, Franklin Carmichael and A.J. Casson – with the adventures of three modern day sleuths. Historian Michael Burtch, and the writer and photographer team of Gary and Joanie McGuffin are determined to track down the precise locations of these famous paintings. Archival film, letters, journals and photographs of the artists – some of which have never been seen in public – take the viewers back in time. This film weaves this history with a modern day adventure, up mountains, down canyon rivers and over portages with our trio as they try to achieve their own personal quest: to actually ‘walk in the Group of Seven’s footsteps’