- Place of Use Continent - North America, Country - Canada
- Category Communication artifacts
- Sub-category Art
- Department Art and Memorials
- Museum CWM
- Earliest 2002/01/01
- Latest 2002/12/31
- Inscription (recto): J Maddison; (verso): Delphine James Pegouske Themean 2002 by Johnnene Maddison, London, Ontario hand-dyed fabric, photo transfers, hand and machine embroidery, machine quilted, 111 x 74 cm Delphine is my mother, Her father secured work for her and for two of her sisters at Ford Motor Co. in 1943 after leaving me in the care of her mother, Emily. Delphine rode to work with her father or sometimes took the hour-long bus ride. She loved her work in the tool crib and knew a lot about tools through helping her father fix thing around their small home. The male employees often teased her, asking for things they knew she couldn't pick up, like heavy sledgehammers or left-handed wrenches. There was also a fair amount of sexual harassment from men who knew Delphine's husband was overseas and thought she would appreciated their company. She bought her own uniforms, which were attractive blue rayon slacks and jackets. The men did not have to wear uniforms. Her husband, my father, was killed in 1944 without every seeing me except in photos. At the end of the war, all the women were laid off. Delphine explained to one of the foremen that she had lost her husband and had a child to support. He told her to wait in the foremen's office and someone would discuss her situation and see what could be done. She sat there for two hours and no one arrived. The last thing she heard as she left the factory after her final shift was, "See you around sometime."
- Medium mixed media
- Support fibre
- Materials Not applicable
- Person / Institution Subject, Themean, Delphine James PegouskeAssociated institution, Ford Motor Company of Canada
- Measurements Height 111.0 cm, Width 74.0 cm
- Related activity War work
- Caption Delphine James Pegouske Themean
“Delphine is my mother. Her quilt's colour recalls the blue uniform that she wore at the Ford Motor Company, which was required apparel for women only. She was singled out in other ways, too. Some co-workers teased her. Others sexually harassed her. Still, Delphine loved her work; but, at war's end, now widowed, she was dismissed. The last words she heard? ‘See you around sometime.'”
- Caption Stitches in Time
“It is the intrinsically feminine task of mending and patching that enters my work today.” Johnnene Maddison
Through quilts, contemporary artist Johnnene Maddison interprets the unique ways in which Canadian women balanced work, family, and leisure in their wartime lives.
Johnnene Maddison's mother was one of millions of North American women, more than one million of whom were Canadian, who worked in a factory during the Second World War. Inspired by her mother's wartime experience, she searched for other women workers. Maddison found 37, each with a distinct story, but all with one thing in common: the need to balance work with family, motherhood, and leisure.
For Johnnene Maddison, quilts best express the texture of women's wartime experiences. Recycled fabrics recall women's thrift and ingenuity. The technique of photo-transfer, capturing women's memorabilia, makes each quilt a testament to personal experience. Patched and pieced together, the quilts evoke women's resourcefulness in holding together the home front while also supplying the needs of the military.