The face of British Columbia has gone through many changes during the last 60 years. Unity Bainbridge has captured those changes in her art.
During the 1930s, Unity Bainbridge travelled alone through the interior of British Columbia, up and down the coast and across to Vancouver Island for the sole purpose of painting the native peoples in their own environment.
Carrying all her painting supplies herself she hiked many miles in the wilderness and paddled rivers and lakes to get to the locations where she worked. Unity Bainbridge was fiercely determined to make a record of what she was seeing.
Her art records places long gone: squatters’ shacks, Japanese villages and native villages. She has painted intimate portraits of people, young and old, rich and poor. What made her style so unique was her ability to actually compete her work on location.
In addition to teaching art-appreciation to secondary school students, Unity Bainbridge has produced two illustrated books on the Province and is working on a third.
To paraphrase the late Lauren Harris of the Group of Seven: “Unity Bainbridge has concentrated all her energies on making a Canadian statement in art, in British Columbia terms.”