Emily Carr and Judith Wright: bearing witness through art, autobiography and friendship
Canadian painter, Emily Carr (1871-1945_ and Australian poet, Judith Wright (1915-2000) bore witness through live art to the devastating impact of colonisation on the lives and cultures of indigenous people. Both art and artist have, in each case, accrued iconic status within their respective nations, not it must be said without a fair share of criticism directed toward the very notion of bearing witness and the form that witnessing tool. Of particular interest to me is the degree to which their interest in, attitude toward, and sympathy for indigenous peoples shaped their sense of themselves, both in terms of the importance and influence of an indigenous (female) friendship on their lives; and how we might understand the meaning and affect of this kind of witnessing.
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