Hello, my name is Emily Carr. Welcome to my home. I live in Victoria, the capital of British Columbia. I am a painter and writer.
I was born on December 13, 1871. My parents had emigrated from England. My father was a respected businessman. From an early age, I was raised according to traditional Victorian values. Discipline was very important. In my day, British girls were raised to become wives. A good girl had to develop the qualities of being gentle and calm.
Much to my parent’s chagrin, I have always been different. I love the wilderness and beauty of Canada’s West Coast. Unfortunately, my parents died when I was 18 years old. To learn the art of painting, I convinced my guardians let me go study in California, England and even France.
Through art, I am able to express my ideas and I often produce non-traditional pieces. They represent the nature and totems that embody the different Indigenous nations of British Columbia. I am passionate about this culture. I realize that their traditional knowledge is endangered because Indigenous Peoples are slowly being assimilated into the European culture. So, my goal is to preserve these totems in the form of images. Hopefully my paintings will be archival documents that remind people of the beauty and richness of Indigenous cultures and histories.
Author: Service national du Récit de l’univers social