Nathan Satterlee's Reviews > Opposite Contraries: The Unknown Journals of Emily Carr and Other Writings

Opposite Contraries by Emily Carr
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Feb 06, 2011

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Emily Carr found in Native art's exaggerated supernaturalism a connection with Modern art's emphasis on digging beneath images to their emotional and spiritual meanings. She championed the aliveness and vitality of each tradition and encouraged putting more of one's personal self into both seeing and working at art, as the processes of distortion and abstraction involved allow a unique opportunity for the audience's and artist's own vulnerability to fill in those empty spaces.

The stories, letters, and journal entries in this collection include excerpts that were removed for various reasons from her posthumously published major works, providing an even deeper and more complex look at the social, personal, and spiritual conflicts that were transformed into Carr's famous paintings of Pacific Northwest landscapes, First Nations totems, etc.

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Quotes Nathan Liked

Emily Carr
“What do these forests make you feel? Their weight and density, their crowded orderliness. There is scarcely room for another tree and yet there is space around each. They are profoundly solemn yet upliftingly joyous; like the Bible, you can find strength in them that you look for. How absolutely full of truth they are, how full of reality. The juice and essence of life are in them; they teem with life, growth and expansion. They are a refuge for myriads of living things. As the breezes blow among them, they quiver, yet how still they stand developing with the universe. God is among them. He has breathed with them the breath of life, might and patience. They stand developing, springing from tiny seeds, pushing close to Mother Earth. Fluffy baby things first, sheltering beneath their parents, mounting higher, spreading brave braches, pushing with mighty strength not to be denied skywards. Tossing in the breezes, glowing in the sunshine, bathing in the showers, bending below the snow piled on their branches, drinking the dew, rejoicing in creation, bracing each other, sheltering the birds and beasts, the myriad insects.”
Emily Carr, Opposite Contraries: The Unknown Journals of Emily Carr and Other Writings

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