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"Here is a Picture" - 1998

Notes on the Songs (a spare biography)

Entrance born December 13 1871 in Victoria , British Columbia, Canada

Small A bright child a mischievous child a dirty child. She loved animals and she called herself Small

brutal telling A bad thing between Small and her father, only half referred to and half re membered

Pause When Emily was in her early twenties she was sudying art in London. She became vaguely undefinably ill, and because the doctors didn't know what was wrong with her they sent her to a sanatorium for TB patients in the countryside. She was there for 18 months and was forbidden to do anything unhealthy such as painting or writing. What she did do was collect song birds from the surrounding woods and raise them in her hospital room, with the plan of bringing them back to Canada. Unfortunately her illness got worse and she was unable to take care of the birds. Rather than let them go back to the wild where she feared they could not survive she had them all chloroformed.

The Indian Back in Canada the art of the B.C. indians was a stronger inspiriation than
Boatride to Skidegate any English teachings. Emily journeyed up and down the coast to remote
Greenery villages and wilderness. She painted what she found.

Trompe l'oiseau birds birds birds

Hearts, hearts Emily Carr never had a lover. She had some suitors but without much di lemma she turned them down. She was sure of the desire to paint and she was sure that a marriage would keep her from that work. But there was also a bitterness there, a fear of human closeness.

15 Years The plan was to build a house containing a handful of apartments so that the incoming rent could be a financial support, leaving most of her time free for painting. But with the unforeseen war and economic depression, Emily spent 15 years struggling to make ends meet while taking care of te nants that she generally hated. She was not pleased.

Meeting the Group of 7 A curator in ottawa saw Emily's paintings and brought her to a show with the Group of 7, seven Canadian painters working in a new and distinctive style.* For the first time in her live Emily had company, other painters who loved Canada and tried to paint Canada in their own way. She returned to her work with fervour.

Woo' s Exotic Theme Woo was a monkey who lived with Emily and her dogs, her parrots, her rats, her whole menagerie.

Titles painting titles

working When Emily was in her mid-sixties her life was good. She had recognition
Noah's Ark for her art and writing and she had time to paint. She had a big old camper van called "The Grey Elephant" or "Noah's Ark" that she would fill full of animals and take up into the woods to do all the paintings she could find. This song is about that, and also a consideration of death in the best possi ble way.

to and from Ira At the end of her life Emily had a good friend named Ira Dilworth. The words in this song are the last lines of letters they wrote to each other.

Exit Died in 1945 in Victoria B.C.



* The Rheostatics, a Canadian band, have recorded an album called Music for the Group of 7. It is a good companion to this record.