Chosen by: Karen Love, manager of curatorial affairs at the Vancouver Art Gallery.
“One of my early tasks as an art history student at Carleton University was to write an essay on the well-loved British Columbia artist Emily Carr. I read everything I could get my hands on, looking at reproductions of most of her paintings and works on paper, and the image that affected me most profoundly was Scorned as Timber, Beloved of the Sky. Carr achieved such glorious beauty in this work, while also pointing to the stark reality of clear-cut logging, and I was struck by the co-existence of what a fellow curator once called “enchantment and disturbance.” The painting triggered my interest in paying attention to trees no matter where I am in the world. When I moved to Vancouver I was thrilled to discover that this work was in the collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery.
In the late 90s, I encountered Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun’s Clear Cut to the Last Tree, a more politically charged work about the same subject. http://www.lawrencepaulyuxweluptun.com/retrospective.html#null
Standing before either of these powerful works now, my mind’s eye insists on seeing its counterpart: the other painting.”
Emily Carr, Scorched as Timber, Beloved of the Sky, 1935. Oil on canvas. Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Emily Carr Trust. Photo: Trevor Mills, Vancouver Art Gallery.
Among many other responsibilities, Karen Love oversees the Gallery’s exhibition touring program Across the Province, which circulates exhibitions from the Gallery’s collection to public galleries in British Columbia. The Tree: From the Sublime to the Social is an Across the Province exhibition currently on display at The Reach Gallery Museum in Abbotsford. The Tree includes Yuxweluptun’s Clearcut to the Last Tree, as well as works by Emily Carr and many other 20th century and contemporary artists from the Gallery’s collection. Carr’s Scorned as Timber, Beloved of the Sky is in the exhibition Nature and Spirit: Emily Carr’s Coastal Landscapes, which is touring nationally.