La Cloche Spirit – Sudbury Nov 19 – 30 at Vale Living with Lakes Center

‘La Cloche Spirit’ exhibit in Sudbury November 19 – 30

Stephen Weir Articles

Lismer got it right. There is La Cloche, and then there is the rest of the world

Jon Butler opens his exhibition of photographs, on display in the RBC Tower on Bay Street. Part of Contact Festival.
Jon Butler uses his camera to have a Group of Seven moment in God’s Country

La Cloche Spirit: The Equivalent Light, opens in Toronto. Part of Contact Festival

Jon Butler at one time was an integral part of the Thomson News Corporation. Publisher. Newspaper Executive.  Nowadays, he lets others write the news, while he pursues beauty with his camera in Northern Ontario.
On Monday evening Butler opened an exhibition of photographs he took in the La Cloche region of Georgian Bay.  The show launch was held in the lobby of the  Royal Bank’s Bay Street Tower as part of the month long Contact Photography Festival.  Three Ontario and Federal cabinet ministers, a over 50-art lovers attended the opening sponsored by Vale’s Base Metals, a Toronto based mining company.
The La Cloche area, known for the beauty of its quartzite mountains, crystal clear lakes,  and abundant wildlife, is located in Northern Ontario on the north shore of Georgian Bay near  the Killarney Park (east) and the town of Spanish (west). Butler lives in Willisville, located in the heart of La Cloche.

Art writer/expert Tom Smart (right) with Jon Butler

This area was recently saved from the possibility of any future mining.  In 2011, the sponsor of the evening’s launch, Vale,  surrendered the license for the district so it may be enjoyed for generations to come. Butler was instrumental in saving the Mountain and establishing the La Cloche Mountains Preservation Society.
La Cloche Spirit is a photographic exhibition that explores the light of dawn and how it evokes an inspirational space and translates the timeless beauty of nature,” said Butler at the Contact event. “After the practice of Stieglitz, an “equivalent” photograph functions as a work of art because it both communicates subject matter and suggests mental states.”
The retired newspaper man is now a Zen practitioner and has, as he writes, “changed his clothes to enjoy the passing seasons of life.” He says that he has been capturing and enjoying the light of La Cloche for more than 30 years. He concentrates on solitary, contemplative landscapes and atmospheric effects with his natural light photographs. They reflect years of meditation on the subject matter and draw viewers into the light of La Cloche.
Butler isn’t the first artist to be inspired by La Cloche. Group of Seven painter, Arthur Lismer visited Georgian Bay for the first time in September of 1913.  It is recorded that he was dumbstruck by the impact of the landscape.

His paintings of La Cloche established a unique style of of seeing the pools, rocks, crags and trees that  have made his work so distinct. While a guest of Dr. James MacCallum ( an early patron of the Group) at his Georgian Bay, Lismer began a life-long love affair with Georgian Bay and La Cloche, and would return there to work throughout his life.
Butler’s exhibit ‘La Cloche Spirit: The Equivalent Light’ will be up at 200 Bay St., South Tower Lobby, Royal Bank Plaza to Saturday, May 26 and at The Gore Bay Museum Heritage Centre from June 10 to August 6.


‎’La Cloche Spirit: The Equivalent Light’ along with photos chronicling the years leading up to the exhibit will be in Sudbury at the Vale Living with Lakes Center November 19 to 30. Hope to see you there!


About jonbutlerphoto

Jon Butler is a Zen practitioner, haiku poet, photographer and retired newspaper executive who changed his clothes to enjoy the passing seasons of life. He has been capturing and enjoying the natural light of La Cloche for more than 35 years. He concentrates on solitary, contemplative landscapes, natural colour and atmospheric effects. In 2015 Jon began creating a series of Photomontage prints using his original photographs. It is an opportunity to explore a sequence of dreams or dreams of a sequence. Jon and his wife Kerry summer on Charlton Lake located in the heart of the La Cloche Mountains. They are founding members of the La Cloche Mountains Preservation Society and the Willisville Mountain Project, dedicated to preserve Willisville Mountain and the beauty of La Cloche. The books ‘Visions of La Cloche, Contemplating La Cloche with Words and Photographs’ and 'La Cloche Spirit: Contemplating Beginner's Mind' are still available online at Jon’s exhibit ‘La Cloche Spirit: The Equivalent Light’ was part of the Toronto international photography show CONTACT2012 before exhibiting in Gore Bay and Sudbury in 2012. Jon’s photographs are available at Turners Gallery of Little Current, The Art Gallery of Sudbury shop and the Killarney Park Store.
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