Emily Carr – Canadian Icon

emily-carr4

“Emily Carr was a Canadian artist and writer inspired by the Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast. As one of the first painters in Canada to adopt a Modernist and Post-Impressionist painting style, Carr did not receive widespread recognition for her work until late in her life. As she matured, the subject matter of her painting shifted from aboriginal themes to landscapes—forest scenes in particular. As a writer, Carr was one of the earliest chroniclers of life in British Columbia. The Canadian Encyclopedia describes her as a “Canadian icon”. -Wikipedia-

Dec 13, 1871 – Mar 2, 1945 (age 73)

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Timeline

1899:

Carr also visited the Nootka Indian mission at Ucluelet on the west coast of Vancouver Island in 1899.

1912:

In 1912, Carr took a sketching trip to Indian villages in Haida Gwaii, the Upper Skeena River, and Alert Bay.

1927:

It was at the exhibition on West Coast aboriginal art at the National Gallery in 1927 that Carr first met members of the Group of Seven, at that time Canada’s most recognized modern painters.

1941:

The editorial assistance of Carr’s friend Ira Dilworth, a professor of English, enabled Carr to see her own first book, Klee Wyck, published in 1941.

1941:

Emily Carr was awarded Governor General’s Award for English-language non-fiction in 1941.

kleewyck

1945:

Emily Carr suffered her last heart attack and died on March 2, 1945, at the James Bay Inn in her hometown of Victoria, British Columbia, shortly before she was to have been awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of British Columbia. Klee Wyck is a memoir by Canadian artist Emily Carr. Through short sketches, the artist tells of her experiences among First Nations people and cultures on British Columbia’s west coast. The book won the 1941 Governor General’s Award and occupies an important place in Canadian literature.

Quotes:

Twenty can’t be expected to tolerate sixty in all things, and sixty gets bored stiff with twenty’s eternal love affairs.

 Oh, Spring! I want to go out and feel you and get inspiration. My old things seem dead. I want fresh contacts, more vital searching.

 Trees love to toss and sway; they make such happy noises.

 You must be absolutely honest and true in the depicting of a totem for meaning is attached to every line. You must be most particular about detail and proportion.

 I think that one’s art is a growth inside one. I do not think one can explain growth. It is silent and subtle. One does not keep digging up a plant to see how it grows.

 You always feel when you look it straight in the eye that you could have put more into it, could have let yourself go and dug harder.

The artist himself may not think he is religious, but if he is sincere his sincerity in itself is religion.

 There is something bigger than fact: the underlying spirit, all it stands for, the mood, the vastness, the wildness.

 

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