Friday, May 18, 2007

Emily Carr : an exhibition

I greatly admire the Canadian artist Emily Carr, (1871-1945) both for her stunning paintings and for the wonderful books she published in her later years. When camping alone out in the middle of the British Columbia forests to paint became too much for her, she turned to writing, luckily for us. She wrote seven books, the best known of them being Klee Wyck. There is also a volume of her diaries, and I love to read other people's diaries.

There is a huge retrospective exhibition of her works travelling the country this year. ( I was not able to see it when it was closest to me, curses!) But, since the exhibition is being mounted only in a few major centres, there are many Canadians who will not have the chance to attend. In their populist wisdom, the curating Vancouver Art Gallery has mounted a virtual exhibition, so now we can all experience the joy of Emily Carr. I must admit, there is nothing like standing in front of a physical painting by Emily Carr and seeing even the brush strokes, almost feeling her presence. Still, the chance to see some of these lesser known works online is a great idea. I hope you'll take a moment to see what all the fuss is about - Emily is worth it!

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