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A Northern Silver Mine: Genesis of a Painting

August 3, 2002 - October 6, 2002

AWE Gallery

In 1930, artist Franklin Carmchael visited Cobalt, a mining town located in northern Ontario. There he completed at least 29 known graphite sketches of the town, depicting it from various points of view. His subjects included houses, abandoned mineshafts, and streetscapes, and involves both close-up and distant views of the mine buildings themselves. When Carmichael returned to his studio, he synthesized elements from these sketches to compose a painting entitled A Nothern Silver Mine (1930).

The theme of A Nothern Silver Mine – the interaction between industrial activity and the wilderness – is one that Carmichael explored in his works of the early 1930s. It illustrates the uncomfortable relationship between a mining town and the environment in which it is situated. This exhibition records Carmichael’s artistic process, tracing the development of his painting from the many prelimiary sketches that are extant.

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