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From the Forest to the Sea

Emily Carr in British Columbia

edited by Sarah Milroy & Ian Dejardin

Goose Lane Editions
Initial publish date
Apr 2015
General, Canadian, General
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2015
    List Price

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Winner, Canadian Museum Association Award for Outstanding Achievement in Research -- Art

Emily Carr captures the natural and cultural landscapes of British Columbia like no other artist before or after her.

This major volume, designed to accompany an exhibition organized by the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London and the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, gathers work from all phases of this extraordinary artist's career — from her delicate early watercolours of the 1890s to her expressive hybrids of the 1930s and 1940s, which carry European and North American Modernist traditions with the formal stylizations of Indigenous design.

Carr's lifelong fascination with British Columbia's original inhabitants transformed her. Visiting First Nations villages up and down the coast, she absorbed the essence of the place she loved so well. Those experiences changed her life and charged her work, inspiring her imagination.

This monumental volume features more than 100 colour reproductions of Carr's work, including some of her most renowned paintings, in dialogue with dozens of indigenous artifacts from the Pacific Northwest: historic masks, baskets, and ceremonial objects by Haida, Kwakwaka'wakw, Nuu-chah-nulth, Salish, Tlingit, and Tsimshian makers. Drawn from public and private collections, including the British Museum, the Pitt Rivers Museum, Horniman Museum and Gardens, and the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, these artifacts illuminate Carr's connections to Indigenous cultures.

From the Forest to the Sea features written contributions by Toronto writer and art critic Sarah Milroy; Ian Dejardin, Director of Dulwich Picture Gallery (London) acclaimed contemporary artists Peter Doig and Jessica Stockholder; leading Carr scholars Ian Thom, Charles Hill, Kathryn Bridge, and Gerta Moray; Haida hereditary chief and master carver James Hart; Kwakwaka'wakw artists Corrine Hunt and Marianne Nicolson; and anthropologists Robert Storrie and Karen Duffek. Together, they illuminate Carr's immense legacy and the connections to First Nations culture that inspired her work.

About the authors

Sarah Milroy is a Toronto writer and art critic. She served as editor and publisher of Canadian Art magazine (1991-96) and as art critic of the Globe and Mail (2001-10). Milroy has contributed to publications on the work of Gathie Falk, Jack Chambers, Greg Curnoe and Fred Herzog, and is a regular contributor to Canadian Art, Border Crossings and The Walrus.

Sarah Milroy's profile page

Ian A.C. Dejardin is the Sackler Director of Dulwich Picture Gallery, London. Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, he graduated with an MA (Hons) in History of Art from Edinburgh University. From 1990 to 1997, he was English Heritage's Curator of Paintings for the London region, having started his career at the Royal Academy of Arts. Appointed Curator at Dulwich in 1997, he became the gallery's Director in 2005. Presiding over a varied and international exhibition program, he has also continued to curate exhibitions himself, most recently Painting Canada: Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven (2011).

Ian Dejardin's profile page


  • Winner, Canadian Museum Association Award for Outstanding Achievement in Research -- Art

Editorial Reviews

"This dynamic book moves confidently between Carr’s wonderful work and the First Nations culture that inspired her."

<i>Quill & Quire</i>

"While there is no doubt that Emily Carr herself is the subject of From the Forest to the Sea: Emily Carr in British Columbia, the curators have taken considerable care to acquire the Native perspective on Carr’s work."

<i>BC Studies: The British Columbia Quarterly</i>

"This is an indispensable guide and provides enrichment to both the neophyte and stalwart Carr researcher. [Carr’s] inexpressible exuberance and free-flowing imagination are given colour and her sensibility heightened in these pages."

<i>The Prairie Journal</i>

Other titles by Sarah Milroy

Other titles by Ian Dejardin