MORAY, Gerta




Author Tags: Art

According to Gerta Moray, Emily Carr made more than 500 drawings and paintings in response to the First Nations communities she visited. Moray, a professor of Art History at the University of Guelph, spent two decades tracing Emily Carr’s career and relationship with the First Nations of British Columbia for Unsettling Encounters: First Nations Imagery in the Art of Emily Carr (UBC Press $75), nominated for the British Columbia Award for Canadian Non-Fiction.

Released to coincide with a Carr exhibit touring Canada in 2006 and 2007, Unsettling Encounters suggests Emily Carr consistently worked to champion First Nations peoples and their traditions. She maps Carr’s first encounters with First Nations communities during her painting trips through 1913 and analyses the work that resulted.

“We do not immediately think of Emily Carr as a person who read the anthropology of Franz Boas and Marius Barbeau,” Moray says, “and who pored over reports of the Jesup North Pacific Expedition published by the American Museum of Natural History. She is not known for her criticism of missionaries and residential schools and their goal to reshape Native peoples into suitable Canadian citizens.”

Moray holds degrees from the University of Oxford, the Courtauld Institute of Art, and the University of Toronto. She previously taught at the Universities of Sheffield, Edinburgh, Stirling, and Toronto. Her view of Carr—a notoriously bad speller who required Ira Dilworth’s help in her literary endeavours—re-jigs the eccentric Victoria-based landlady into a far-sighted artist with anthropological intentions and humanitarian sentiments.

“…the Emily Carr that I portray thought of her paintings of Native villages and totem poles as a record, addressed not only to the settler population, but also to future generations of Native peoples in British Columbia.”

ISBN 0-7748-1282-6


BOOKS:

Unsettling Encounters: First Nations Imagery in the Art of Emily Carr (UBC Press, 2006). 400 pages, 8.5 x 12”, 197 photos including 91 colour plates, 4 maps, ISBN 0-7748-1282-6 / 978-0-7748-1282-5 • cloth $75.00

[BCBW 2006] "Art" "Carr"