Image Above: Indian War Canoe (Alert Bay)
“This is a beguiling show and deserves to be one of the biggest blockbusters of the season,” says Karen Wright, art critic of Britain’s Independent newspaper. ”If ever there was a heroine of true grit in the history of art it was Emily Carr,” says Laura Cumming of The Observer. Renowned Scottish painter Peter Doig calls her “a Canadian van Gogh.”
Britons will have a chance to see for themselves at From the Forest to the Sea: Emily Carr a collection of 100 landscapes and drawings currently on view at London’s Dulwich Picture Gallery. Born in British Columbia in 1871, Carr travelled throughout the aboriginal communities of the Pacific Northwest, documenting the life and times of a vanishing people. Her forest scenes and totems are particularly striking. Although revered at home, she is virtually unknown in Europe. That’s about to change with Britain’s enthusiastic response.
Title: Arbutus Tree
Title: Blunden Harbour
Title: Tanoo, Queen Charlotte Island
From the Forest to the Sea: Emily Carr is the largest and most expensive solo show the Gallery has mounted to date and is accompanied by First Nations artifacts, masks, hats and beadwork. The exhibition was opened by master carver James Hart and a troop of Haida dancers. Watch the video below
Performance by Haida Dancers (Image © Dulwich Picture Gallery)
Haida Dancers (Image © Dulwich Picture Gallery)
Title: Haida Mask
The show not only celebrates the artist but the culture that inspired her and the Gallery is mounting a series of public lectures and workshops throughout the winter to coincide with its larger presentation. Earlier this week HRH Prince Charles visited the exhibition to meet with students and teachers from Vancouver’s Emily Carr University of Art and Design – yes, the school is named after the painter – to talk to them about community art projects. His Royal Highness hosts the Prince’s School for Traditional Arts, an outreach enterprise that works with indigenous peoples around the world to foster and preserve interest in traditional crafts. The Prince’s School has been working with the Ahousaht First Nation in the Clayoquot Sound area of BC teaching craft skills such as bark weaving and wood carving. His Royal Highness was shown a piece of beadwork and quilting made by students based on knowledge they obtained at the workshops.
Title: Tree spiraling upwards
Title: Big Eagle, Skidigate
Title: Indian Church
Emily Carr University Professor Landon Mackenzie completed the Canadian contingent. An expert on Emily Carr in her own right, Mackenzie is currently involved in another exhibition, Emily Carr & Landon Mackenzie: Wood Chopper and the Monkey at the Vancouver Art Gallery which shows the differences and the similarities between two female artists working in BC over a span of a hundred years.
From the Forest to the Sea: Emily Carr runs until March 2015 after which it returns to Canada and the Art Gallery of Ontario.