Today, Emily Carr is one of the most famous Canadian Painters – she was one of the first Canadian painters to adopt post-impressionist painting styles and member of the Group of Seven, who, at that time, were Canada’s most recognized modern painters. However, Emily Carr only received widespread recognition after she started to paint landscapes and especially forest-scapes instead of focussing on aboriginal themes. She became a writer. She was one of the first chroniclers of life in British Columbia. This is the place where she spend most of her life – despite her love for travelling, which broad her to places like Alaska, but also to France, where she lived an extended period of time. Her house on Vancouver Island is open to visitors and shows some of her work and gives you a glimpse into her life – it is definitley worth a visit if you travel to Vicotria.
Carr suffered from a heart attack in the 1930ies, which made her shift her focus. Her work from the time after the heart attack reflects her growing concern over the state of the environment. She recognized the damaging effects of industrial logging on the environment and the lives of indigenous people. Her painting “Odds and Ends” of 1936 bluntly shows this concerns or as she puts it: “the cleared land and tree stumps shift the focus from the majestic forest-scapes that lured European and American tourists to the West Coast to reveal instead the impact of deforestation.”