If you’re in London, try to visit, ‘From the Forest to the Sea,’ an exhibition of paintings, sketchbooks, writings and drawings by Emily Carr (1871-1945)
It is the first UK exhibition dedicated to her work and is organised by the Dulwich Picture Gallery and the Art Gallery of Ontario.
Emily Carr’s paintings feature the coasts and rainforests of British Columbia and are a record of the vanished culture of the indigenous communities of Canada. There are Indian war canoes, totem poles at Tanoo on Queen Charlotte Island, huge wooden carved figures at Blunden Harbour and an Indian church deep in the rainforest.
My fantasy novel, ‘The Whirlstone,’ is about the events that occur when a previously isolated community, Oscura, meets other cultures. The world I’ve constructed in this book was partly influenced by my research into Native American Indians and First Nations peoples of Canada. I was particularly interested in the indigenous carved wooden artefacts that are a related part of this exhibition.
I found the images exhilarating and when I go back to writing about the Oscurans again I am sure there will be resonances from this exhibition.
On the wall in my living room, I have a print, purchased from the gift shop at Dulwich Picture Gallery, entitled, ‘Happiness.’ This is how I feel when I look at her paintings.
The exhibition finishes on March 8th 2015. If you would like to follow my blog please follow the link at the bottom of Dallimore Days.