Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Monday Inspiration: Elizabeth Wyn Wood

Elizabeth Wyn Wood, Passing Rain, 1928, (source)

Elizabeth Wyn Wood, Linda, 1932, (source)
Elizabeth Wyn Wood, Munitions Worker, 1944 (source) also here

Elizabeth Wyn Wood (1903-1966) was a celebrated Canadian sculptor, she was married to Emmanuel Hahn- also a sculptor. Together they worked in the same medium- plaster casts- which they then painted- or cast into metal. Her works have such strength to them- and I really find that appealing- even the landscapes have a solemn feel to them. They are also very representative of the era in which they were made. I suppose there's always going to be that feel when you work from contemporary subjects- but I think that Linda, and Munitions Worker both really capture that strong female countenance which we associate with the Depression and the second world war respectively.

There was a time in my life when I sort of disliked - or maybe just 'didn't get' the strong female image of the 30's and 40's- muscled and thick limbed, serious set faces. I preferred the willowy framed women of Klimt- the seductive, twisty limbed girls of Schiele, with their small mouths, and long necks, and their stony expressions tempered by their daintiness and lady like mannerisms (or not so lady like- but certainly feminine- mannerisms in Scheile's case). But now that I'm older, now that I'm a mother maybe? I get these women- these serious strong women from some of the hardest times in recent history- thrusting forward into a new gender role- standing on their own two sturdy legs and feet- no dainty lace up boots here- and I love them.

Monday Inspiration 2014 is all about re-discovering Canadian Artists. After completing a bachelor of fine art from a Canadian University you would think that you'd be well versed in Canadian art- but actually -not so much. Ask me about renaissance, or abstract expressionism, and I'm well versed, but beyond the Group of Seven or Emily Carr I'm a bit lost when it comes to my own countrymen- (let alone country women!). If you can think of someone I should look up leave me a note in the comments, I'd love to hear from you!


  1. They definately have a silent strength about them.


  2. Well, they look a bit grim but they are wonderfully crafted and evoke a response.

  3. I agree re; strong women. A very distinctive period in Canadian sculpture.