Metchosin, c. 1935
oil on canvas
50.7 x 58.7 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift from the Estate of Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Naylor
Although influenced by the Group of Seven, especially Lawren Harris, the British Columbia-based Emily Carr developed a unique style of landscape painting that sets her apart from her contemporaries. Drawn initially to West Coast First Nations’ villages and totem poles for her subjects, in the 1930s Carr increasingly depicted the uninhabited landscape. Metchosin, the name of a district on Vancouver Island, includes two phenomena central to her practice: forest and sky. For Carr, nature was imbued with the divine, an idea communicated by representing trees as if they are reaching toward and swirling into the sky. Literally entwined with itself, Carr’s natural world is represented through a series of undulating movements, not a collection of static objects.