Friday, June 15, 2012

Train to Vancouver! (What Would Emily Think?) 15

Back of the beating hammer
  By which the steel is wrought,
Back of the workshop’s clamour
  The seeker may find the Thought.
        Berton Bailey

I am looking forward to going to the Art Gallery of Vancouver to see the Emily Carr exhibit. It is advertised as the greatest collection in Canada. M and I rush back to the hotel and change into something more suitable from the hiking through the forest (but I truly loved the smell) clothes we were wearing.

 We walk the few blocks and I take in all the scenes of the city. I find myself wondering what Emily would think of all this. Would she be able to see the art in these scenes?  Or, was she so engrossed in a world of trees and mountains and would never venture out of that world to paint this one. I truly believe if you open up your eyes and your heart you will see Art in everything. The buildings, the people, and the small unnoticed things most would walk right past. I was to learn there is more to art than even my preconceived notions. We enter the Art Gallery pay our $20 admission and I head right to the Emily Carr exhibit.

I walk around and notice there are not as many paintings as I was expecting. “Canada’s Largest Collection” those words ring in my head. I ask the security guard where the rest of them were thinking they were on another floor. He replies that there is a large part of the collection “On Tour”, my disappointment is apparent and he assures me there may be a few more paintings downstairs. I slump down on the bench and stare at the Tree Trunk painting.

 Emily had this unique talent to see trees as though they were alive and not just an object in the forest. She could see the trees moving and living life in a world hidden from most of us. Her use of colour was very dark but if you have ever sat in the middle of the forest you will notice it is very dark and brooding. I think she was a genius. I walk around and take the time to try to really see what Emily was seeing. After a while I moved to another floor to see what other artists were seeing. That is what makes me such a fan of art, everyone sees everything different. A group of people can all stand and stare at the same work of art and see and interpret it in a completely different way, just as an artist can see an object and paint, photograph or any other type of medium and make it their own, their vision of the object completely different than anyone else’s. Everyone sees what they are meant to see. Fascinating isn’t it?

I hear music and drumming and I find my feet heading instinctively to the sound. I walk into a very colourful room full of music and Aboriginal Art. I head over to a bench and sit down beside a nice couple and watch a large screen. I find myself completely absorbed into a world I had never seen nor heard. I was totally captivated. The young couple asked if there was anything special I would like to see and I replied No I was quite happy with their choices.

 This was an installation called Beat Nation; Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture. I find myself listening and watching videos of Canadian artists who put their life to music videos. I could not believe how much this affected me. I sat here for probably an hour just watching these music videos. Now I am not a fan of rap music, or so I thought but this got right to the core of Aboriginal life today. These artists and their talent told stories to a music that I found myself engrossed. I could not tear myself away. Art my friends certainly does come in many forms and I was enchanted. Never shut yourself out of exploring the unknown, you may be pleasantly surprised.

I am thinking Emily was a very open minded artist who could appreciate this. She was a woman who did things the way she wanted and actually, except for a brief time of doubt when believing others could not understand her art and see her talent, she always believed in her vision.

M and I leave this Gallery excited at what we had found and experienced, I was not too disappointed in the lack of Emily Carr paintings as I had experienced a new Art which I truly enjoyed. I think Emily would approve. We are off to explore the city and see what is hidden from those who have their eyes tightly closed. I hope you enjoy my vision of the street.

We are off to Grouse Mountain tomorrow very early in the morning. So after our street tour we retire early. I am so excited about spending the day on the top of a mountain with a very talented Travel Adventure Writer friend who has graciously offered to take us to the top. This is going to be fun.


Wow this is my 500th post.


  1. In answer to your question: I find Emily's art very true and multi-leveled. It is obvious she lived in and loved those deep dark forests and the people who were there. I agree the best art speaks many different ways to many kinds of people.

    I heard a speaker say once that there is more to an object than it's physical structure. It is the story that matters. Usually the more you know about something the more you like it. Everyone brings their own story and carries away more.

    I hope to return to Vancouver and when I do I'll look up Emily.

  2. I don't know Emily Carr's art, but I'll be doing a search. Your description of a forest/woods are spot on...dark and brooding.

    Enjoy your mountain climb!

  3. A nice walk down unfamiliar streets with a take on art. :)

  4. A great entry, as always. I like your take on art and your photos are wonderful!

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  6. i like this post...your pictures and talk about art.
    i would love to see an exhibit on Aboriginal art.

    a person may prefer to be in the dark forest surrounded by nature...(i know i do!)...but where ever you go...even venturing into the is everywhere...we just have to LOOK.

    love all your pictures too...

    have fun in the mountains! oh, i'm's a bit FLAT here in florida! :)

  7. (congrats on 500!)

    and i love how you keep your mind open, even in disappointment - and are rewarded for it.

  8. I also congratulate the many entries.

  9. I've never been one to spend a lot of time in art museums, but you sure make it sound like a wonderful experience! Sometimes a piece of art really catches my eye, (I really like Leenie's watercolors!) and I appreciate the tremendous amount of time the artists put into their work.

  10. Fantastic! I just went to the McMichael Gallery here in Ontario, just north of Toronto, yesterday! They have many paintings from the Group of Seven, as does the AGO. Have a wonderful art filled weekend.

  11. i love your enthusiasm for art! i had to look up emily's work. beautiful stuff!

    and happy 500 to you!!

  12. I love your last picture the most as the bus looks like it is sitting in a diorama. The rest of the pictures are wonderful but that one is my favorite. I think a lot of people rarely see whats going on right around them everyday... Art IS everywhere!

  13. Sounds like a wonderful day filled with art, music and good vibes.

    Congrats on your 500th post, dear!

  14. Beautiful city you were visiting. I will be google-ing your Emily Carr.

  15. You've inspired me to research Emily's art.
    I also add my congratulations for your 500th post.
    Loved looking around the streets with you and I also admire how you savour everything you experience B :D)xx


The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

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