“More than ever was I convinced that the old way of seeing was inadequate to express this big country of ours, her depth, her height, her unbounded wildness, silences too strong to be broken – nor could ten million cameras, through their mechanical boxes, ever show real Canada. It had to be sensed, passed through live minds, sensed and loved.”
Emily Carr, Growing Pains: The Autobiography of Emily Carr
Emily Carr (December 13, 1871 – March 2, 1945) is considered a Canadian icon. An artist and writer, she was inspired and influenced by the Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast. She is considered one of the first writers and chroniclers about life in British Columbia.
When Emily was 27, she traveled to a village near Ucluelet, located on the west side of Vancouver Island. This was the home of the Nuu-chah-nulth people. It was a pivotal moment, which made a profound and lasting impression, marking the beginning of the sketches of and visits to Aboriginal villages.
Adopting the name of Klee Wyck, she visited First Nations’ village of Haida Gwaii, the Upper Skeena River, and Alert Bay.
Emily’s paintings captured the spirit of Canada in a modern style. As she aged, her paintings reflected an increasing fear of the environmental impact of industrial logging and the ecological effects on the lives of Indigenous people.
Please join me on a visit to Emily Carr House, Victoria B.C. As I walked through Emily’s garden, I felt her presence and voice as I read her quotes out loud to the sounds of a summer day.