The Emily Carr University on Granville island (in Vancouver) was the first time we heard Emily Carr’s name, with no idea who she was.
It was also the first time we saw an “Aboriginal Gathering Room “ as part of a university. A large riverside room looking like a comfy ‘common room’ and an inviting space to meet. I digress …
Back to Emily Carr –
As we checked in to our amazing Albion Manor Bed and Breakfast Thomas, our warm, informative, enthusiastic host described the art and writing of Emily Carr and offered me a book of her writings: Klee Wyck to read during my stay. When I came to leave, with the book unfinished, he generously gave it to me as a gift. The short stories in the book were to become more real as we travelled through the ancient villages of Gwaii Haanas where Emily had travelled many years before.
At the gallery later I also read about her book The House of All Sorts, This describes the house she lived in and rented rooms out to cover costs. To be added to my reading list.
Emily Carr captivated me as an artist, and also author. A fascinating Canadian artist: a strong woman – artist and writer. We were entranced.
From articles and photos it would seem Emily was an early starter in the ‘tiny house’ movement!
We remain puzzled as to how her tiny house nicknamed ‘the Elephant’ was moved from place to place at that time.
Later discovering she would engage people to move it to where she was painting.
Our next introduction came when we discovered Emily grew up and lived most of her life on Vancouver Island. Her home in Victoria is now a museum.
Unfortunately the house was not open for our visit but we did walk past and imagine her life back then.
We were able to discover more on a visit to the Victoria Arts Museum where a small gallery has a history of the work of Emily Carr, friends, and artists she mentored. Including her relationship to the Group of Seven a group of Canadian landscape artists.
A day or two later we discovered her work at the Chermainus murals: