22 April, 2008

Earth Lover: Emily Carr

To be in British Columbia is to feel the power of growth. The great trees here, those that still stand, stretch eagerly towards the sky. Like a lover the sky bends to meet them. It is a love documented and described by one of the greats, artist Emily Carr. She was a talented writer too, of her life and travels and her studies in France and England in Growing Pains, her time as a reluctant boarding-house owner in The House of All Sorts, and in Klee Wyck her travels by boat with First Nations friends to the coastal islands around Vancouver to document the falling totems and villages just before they passed into dust and memory.

If you want to fall in love anew with the forest and see some of the greatest representations in existence of vegetable life, visit the paintings and drawings of this most vibrant, prescient artist. Emily left the earth in 1945, but her work will live to inspire forever.

Scorned as Timber, Beloved of the Sky, 1935: Vancouver Art Gallery (VAG)

Above the Trees, 1939: VAG

The Red Cedar, 1933: VAG

Cedar, 1942: VAG

Totem Mother, Kitwancool, 1928: VAG

Zunoqua of the Cat Village, 1931: VAG

Old Time Coast Village, 1930: VAG


Cha-chan said...

Thank you for sharing these! I LOVE "The Red Cedar." Beautiful.

And so it's Vancouver, BC! Silly ego-centric US citizen that I am, I assumed it was Washington state. I wonder how different the two Vancouvers are? There should be plenty of Japanese there to keep you company -- one of my best friends in Okinawa is from there -- his parents have a farm. Must be lovely.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora e hoa VJ,
Beautiful paintings, I love the Above the Trees and The cedar, reminds me of New Zealand forest, I'll bet Emily would have enjoyed visiting here. People have told me the deep forests are very similar there to here in ways.
Just returned from the mountains this past week, so very synchronistic to see the woods in this way. Had a fantastic time, though too short, but it will tide me over for a bit! I posted some photos in the forest, and a few remind me very much of the Cedar, have a look when you get a chance.
0ff to the markets VJ. I am cooking tea for us and a dear friend, using my camp oven in a sort of experimental way! Wish me luck. Have a great day VJ. Kia ka ha.
Noho ora mai ra,

vegetablej said...


How interesting, your connection to Vancouver. The city has its good points, after you get accustomed to the noise and bustle and know where to look for the quiet corners, like the Museum of Anthropology wth its wonderful native totems and art, tucked onto the tree-full campus of UBC, but not exactly what I call beautiful, though I'm sure the outlying areas are. Wish I'd had a chance to visit them.

The paintings are much better in person. Hope you get to visit them some day.

vegetablej said...


Probably too late, but good luck anyway. What did you make for tea?

I've had a good read and look at the pictures from your trip. Like you I love pictures of the great trees. You seem to be on a roll of creativity and good energy. May it continue, and thanks!