How Emily Carr’s Style Changed After Travel To France – Vancouver Island Free Daily

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The new Emily Carr exhibit at the Royal BC Museum highlights the impact of a trip to France on the Victoria-born painter.

“I think if Carr hadn’t gone to France, she wouldn’t have become the national icon that she is now,” said Kathryn Bridge, co-curator of the new exhibition. “In France she goes from a realist painter to a post-impressionist painter – she has completely changed her style.”

Carr traveled to Paris in 1910 and spent the year expanding his craft, studying with artists such as John Duncan Fergusson, “Harry” Phelan Gibb, and Frances Hodgkins.

“She could very easily have been satisfied by being a skilled realist painter, working in watercolors, but I think she wanted something more,” Bridge said.

The exhibit lasted 14 months, which is a pretty tight schedule when it comes to curating exhibits. In an effort to learn more about Carr, Bridge traveled to France to follow in the artist’s footsteps. Armed with an iPad filled with paintings by Carr, most of which had generic titles like Village by the Sea or House in Brittany, Bridge got to work trying to pinpoint the exact spot in the paintings.

“There were a few times when I sat on the same bench as Carr,” Bridge said. “Knowing that was exactly where she was sitting… I get chills.”

For Bridge, what is most exciting about the exhibition, titled Fresh Seeing, is the fact that this is the first time that a lot of new information about Carr’s stay in France has been presented, and that it is of the largest exhibition of his paintings combined in one. place, including a number of parts from private lender.

After Emily Carr’s trip to France, her painting style changed. After returning home, Carr repainted a number of her pieces using what she learned abroad. (Kendra Crighton / press team)

The exhibition features a number of paintings made before Carr’s trip to France that she remade upon her return home. Prior to her trip, Carr spent a lot of time painting the local First Nations and made it her mission to document villages that she feared would disappear in the future.

“I think she was ahead of her time by not acknowledging or subscribing to a lot of racial perspective,” Bridge said.

A book titled Fresh Seeing accompanies the exhibition, which further details Bridge’s trip to France and includes four essays on Carr and her work.

For more information on the exhibit which is open now and runs through January 24, or to purchase tickets, visit the museum’s website.

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Royal British Columbia Museum

Fresh Seeings, Emily Carr’s new exhibition at the Royal BC Museum, is the largest collection of Carr’s works brought together at one time. (Kendra Crighton / press team)

Fresh Seeings, Emily Carr's new exhibit at the Royal BC Museum, is Carr's largest collection of works at one time.  (Kendra Crighton / press team)

Fresh Seeings, Emily Carr’s new exhibition at the Royal BC Museum, is the largest collection of Carr’s works brought together at one time. (Kendra Crighton / press team)



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