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The Canada Gallery presents The Tremendous Elusive: Emily Carr and the Canadian Imaginary

Galerie Canada Gallery

Canada Gallery - How to find us
Pall Mall Entrance, free admission

22 April –  18 June 2016
Daily 11:00 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.

Image: A Rushing Sea of Undergrowth

The Canada Gallery is delighted to present a new exhibition centred around two key works by renowned Canadian artist Emily Carr.

The Tremendous Elusive: Emily Carr and the Canadian Imaginary pivots on late career pieces by Carr – generously on loan from the Vancouver Art Gallery - and presents them alongside a selection of photographs, paintings, drawings, textile and sculptural works by contemporary artists from across the country drawn from the wider Canada House collection.

The Carr pieces, Wood Interior (1932-35) and A Rushing Sea of Undergrowth (1935), date from a time after the artist took advice from Lawren Harris, the Canadian modern painter and member of the Group of Seven, to examine more deeply her creative impulse towards the landscape and to pursue “the tremendous elusive” of “what lies behind”.

Carr’s own imaginary evolved alongside the formulation of her Canadian identity.  She was particularly influenced by travels abroad as a young artist. In 1899, she travelled to London to study and spent five years in the United Kingdom, visiting Scotland, Cornwall and Devon, as well as museums and galleries, including ethnographic collections at the British Museum.

Those experiences and the pieces in his exhibition serve as a starting point to explore the perception of Canada from within and outside our national borders. Carr’s influence is continually revealed through the work of fellow Canadian artists, and is a vision that is widely exported.

The contemporary artists included in this exhibition reveal new imaginaries, beyond the still-popular motifs of snow, land and forest, and bring to light ideas of Canada that are post-colonial and geo-political, that celebrate a new reality of First Nations art, revealing its diversity and complexity. In so doing, this exhibition provides a true 21st century view of Canada, seeded in the work of one of Canada’s most influential artists. 

Image: A Rushing Sea of Undergrowth


Emily Carr’s work was the subject of a critically-acclaimed exhibition – From the Forest to the Sea: Emily Carr in British Columbia - at the Dulwich Picture Gallery in 2014-15.

This exhibition is curated by Canadian curator and consultant Lisa Baldisserra and was made possible thanks to the Vancouver Art Gallery and OMERS.

The Canada Gallery's ongoing programme is generously supported by the Dahdaleh Foundation, chaired by Victor Phillip Dahdaleh.

Canada Gallery - Archive


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