Fresh Seeings, the new Emily Carr exhibit at the Royal BC Museum, is the largest collection of Carr's work all together at one time. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

Fresh Seeings: How Emily Carr’s style changed after a trip to France

New exhibit at Royal BC Museum showcasing the Victoria-born artist’s work throughout her life

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

“I think if Carr hadn’t gone to France, she would not have become the national icon that she is now,” said Kathryn Bridge, co-curator of the new exhibit. “She transitions in France from a realistic painter to a post-impressionist painter – she completely changed her style.”

Carr travelled to Paris in 1910 and spent the year broadening her art, studying under artists like John Duncan Fergusson, ‘Harry’ Phelan Gibb and Frances Hodgkins.

READ ALSO: Newly public Emily Carr painting depicts well-known Victoria view

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

The exhibit was 14 months in the making, which is a fairly tight timeline when it comes to curating exhibits. In an effort to learn more about Carr, Bridge went to France to follow in the artist’s footsteps. Armed with an iPad filled with Carr’s paintings, most of which had generic titles such as Village by the Sea or House in Brittany, Bridge got to work trying to locate the exact spot in the paintings.

“There was a couple of times where I actually sat on the same bench that Carr sat on,” said Bridge. “Knowing that it was exactly there that she sat … I get shivers.”

READ ALSO: Victoria author pens biography on Emily Carr’s monkey, Woo

For Bridge, what’s most exciting about the exhibit, titled Fresh Seeing, is the fact that this is the first time a lot of new information about Carr’s time in France has been presented, and that this is the largest showing of her paintings together in one place, including a number of private lender pieces.

After Emily Carr’s trip to France, her style of painting changed. So once she came back home, Carr re-painted a number of her pieces using what she learned abroad. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

The exhibit features a number of paintings done before Carr’s trip to France that she redid when she got home. Prior to her trip, Carr spent a lot of time painting local First Nations and gave herself a mission to document villages which she feared would be lost in the future.

“I think she was ahead of her time in not recognizing or not subscribing to a lot of racialized perspective,” said Bridge.

A book called Fresh Seeing accompanies the exhibit, which details more of Bridge’s trip to France and includes four essays about Carr and her work.

For more information about the exhibit or to purchase tickets visit royalbcmuseum.bc.ca.


 

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.  
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Royal BC Museum

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

After Emily Carr’s trip to France, her style of painting changed. So once she came back home, Carr re-painted a number of her pieces using what she learned abroad. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

After Emily Carr’s trip to France, her style of painting changed. So once she came back home, Carr re-painted a number of her pieces using what she learned abroad. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

Fresh Seeings, the new Emily Carr exhibit at the Royal BC Museum, is the largest collection of Carr’s work all together at one time. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

Fresh Seeings, the new Emily Carr exhibit at the Royal BC Museum, is the largest collection of Carr’s work all together at one time. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

Just Posted

Saanich golfer and top B.C. junior and juvenile player Willy Bishop was named to the 2021 Canadian National Junior Golf Squad on Nov. 19. (Photo courtesy Jenny Bishop)
Saanich student to tee-off with national golf team

Willy Bishop, 16, named to Canadian National Junior Golf Squad in 2021

Island Health has reported a COVID-19 outbreak at Saanich Peninsula Hospital. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Four new COVID-19 cases added to Saanich Peninsula Hospital outbreak

Inital round of patient testing is complete, staff testing continues

A rendering of Victoria Wonderland, a drive-thru immersive holiday experience that has been cancelled due to COVID-19. (Courtesy of Transcend Victoria)
Victoria Wonderland drive-thru show cancelled due to COVID-19

Organizers hope to host a similar event, if restrictions allow, in the new year

Swiftsure International Yacht Race 2018. (Black Press Media file photo)
Popular Swiftsure yacht race cancelled for second consecutive year

International sailing race hopes to run its 77th event in 2022

Andrew McBride is among those who deck out for Sea of Lights floating ship parade annually. (Black Press Media file photo)
Pandemic sinks Royal Victoria Yacht Club’s Sea of Lights

Oak Bay club encourages donations to the charities event supports

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

(AP Photo/Paula Bronstein)
POLL: Has COVID-19 changed your plans for the holidays?

The lights are going up, the stacks of presents under the tree… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 1

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Watch Messiah at home with the Sooke Philharmonic

Concert available to stream Dec. 12

Emergency crews used a backhoe loader to clear fire debris from the scene of a fire on Wesley Street Thursday as police and firefighters gathered up propane tanks, stoves and fireplaces used by camp residents to heat tents. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
City of Nanaimo dismantles downtown homeless encampment after fire

Four to six tents burned up in Wesley Street fire Thursday, Dec. 3

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

BC Ambulance Services reassures people that the service is well staffed and ready to respond. Photo by Don Bodger
BC Ambulance assures the Island community they’re ‘fully staffed’

‘Paramedics are not limited to a geographical area.’ — BCEHS

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

Most Read