TABLE OF CONTENTS

Collection Summary

Administrative History

Scope and Content

Index Terms

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Contact Information

Item Level Descriptions

Box List

National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives

Women Artists Oral History Project fonds:

Finding Aid



Collection Summary

Title: Women Artists Oral History Project fonds.
Dates: – 1985-1988.
Quantity: – 9 audio cassettes (ca. 9 hrs. 51 min.) and 6 cm of textual records.

Administrative History

The "Women Artists Oral History Project" was an independent project funded by the Molly Eynon Foundation and conducted by Diana C. Coates with six women artists from the London, Ontario region, working in the latter half of the twentieth century. The artists interviewed were Silvia Mary Lowther Clark (1911-1994), Kerry Ferris (b. 1949), Jamelie Hassan (b. 1948), Sigrid Lochner (b. 1925), Sasha McInnes (b. 1947), and Thelma Rosner (b. 1941). As Coates explains at the beginning of each transcript, the interviews were conducted with the artists in order to provide personal accounts of the social, economic, and creative processes surrounding their artistic practices. Her approach emphasized biographical rather than theoretical or critical concerns. Topics covered in almost all of the interviews include family background, education, media techniques, influences, reasons for becoming an artist, the art community in London, thoughts on being a woman artist, and a discussion of their work.

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Scope and Content

The fonds consists of nine copies of audio cassettes and six transcripts of interviews conducted by Diana C. Coates with artists Silvia Mary Lowther Clarke, Kerry Ferris, Jamelie Hassan, Sigrid Lochner, Sasha McInnes, and Thelma Rosner. Most of the interviews begin with Coates providing a brief introduction, setting the context of the interview, and identifying the topics to be discussed in the interview.

Source of supplied title proper: Title based on contents of fonds.
Immediate source of acquisition: Donated to the National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives by Diana C. Coates in 1993.
Location of originals: Copies were made of original tapes and transcriptions. Original tapes and transcripts are maintained by Diana C. Coates and additional copies are at Museum London.
Terms governing use and reproduction: Permission to reproduce or publish material from the Women Artists Oral History Project fonds must be obtained from the National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives.
Finding aids: Item level description and box list available.
General note: There are no cassettes for the interview conducted with Thelma Rosner. The two cassettes of the Sasha McInnes interview are labelled "Sasha Hayman."

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Index Terms

Names:
Clarke, Silvia Mary Lowther, 1911-1994
Ferris, Kerry, b. 1949
Hassan, Jamelie, b. 1948
Lochner, Sigrid, b. 1925
McInnes, Sasha, b. 1947
Rosner, Thelma, b. 1941
Organizations:
Molly Eynon Foundation
Document Types:
Audio cassettes.
Transcripts.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Title of item], Women Artists Oral History Project fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives.

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Contact Information

Cyndie Campbell
Head, Archives, Documentation and Visual Resources
Library and Archives
National Gallery of Canada
380 Sussex Drive
P.O. Box 427, Station A
Ottawa, Ontario
K1N 9N4

T 613-990-0597
F 613-990-9818

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Item Level Descriptions

Sound and Video Recordings.

Silvia M.L. Clarke. - 23 March 1988. - 1 audio cassette (1 hr. 11 min.) and 1 cm of textual records.
A recording and transcript of an interview conducted by Diana C. Coates with Silvia M.L. Clarke. Topics discussed include the derivation of her name; family background and childhood memories; growing up in Cavendish, Suffolk and then London; the importance of art and culture during her upbringing; education at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts; move to Canada (Toronto, Muskoka, Port Stanley, and London); art instructors and influences, including Irene Taylor (b. 1907), Clare Bice (1909-1976), and Herb Ariss (1916-2009); the Artists' Workshop; the Western Art League; the Gallery Painting Group; techniques of oil versus watercolour; drawing; teaching at schools and churches; views on art juries; thoughts on women in the art field; and a description of some of Clarke's paintings.

Kerry Ferris. - 5 April 1987. - 2 audio cassettes (1 hr. 49 min.) and 1 cm of textual records.
A recording and transcript of an interview conducted by Diana C. Coates with Kerry Ferris. Topics discussed include Ferris' childhood background and memories of Tecumseh Street in London; family relationships; appreciation for animals; education at H.B. Beal Secondary School and independent study; self motivation; reasons for becoming an artist; year in England; teaching painting at library and gallery; degree in cinematography at Fanshawe College; grants; move to the Arctic; birth of a son, Alyosha; watercolour and acrylic techniques; sharing a London studio with Jamelie Hassan and other artists; exhibition opportunities; the exhibition Storm Lines; public and private galleries; thoughts on being a woman artist; political and environmental concerns works such as Gentle Rain, Gray Sadness, and Silent Illusion; artistic drive and determination.

Jamelie Hassan. - 28 May 1986. - 2 audio cassettes (1 hr. 43 min.) and 1 cm of textual records.
A recording and transcript of an interview conducted by Diana C. Coates with Jamelie Hassan. Topic discussed include Hassan's childhood and family background; growing up as the seventh of eleven children; Islamic religion and tradition; first time seeing a painting at the Dewdney's across the street on Erie Avenue and discussions with Selweyn; a native woman who took care of her and introduced her to colour; travel and studies in Italy and the Middle East in 1967; back in London at Beal; exploring the moving image and video in Meeting Nassar and The Oblivion Seekers; grants; Zenobia's Wall; the exhibition Beirut - Is War Art? at Forest City Gallery, which she helped to found; ceramic works such as Common Knowledge; the art community in London; Yarlow-Salzman Gallery and private gallery experience; Olympic poster and Ottawa Court House commission; potential for women artists in London; exhibition in Belgium; and influences.

Sigrid Lochner. - 20 March 1986. - 2 audio cassettes (ca. 1 hr. 20 min. each) and 1 cm of textual records.
A recording and transcript of an interview conducted by Diana C. Coates with Sigrid Lochner. Topics discussed include her childhood background and memories of growing up in Dresden; family; education; reasons for becoming and artist; influences; immigration to Canada; experiences in Toronto; move to London in 1995; teaching at Fanshawe College; being a tour guide at London Public Library and Art Museum; media used in her work; imagery; social and political content in her work; importance of exhibitions; juried exhibitions; CAR (Canadian Artists Representation); exhibition space in London; relationship of artists in London; Ray Robinson (b. 1931) as her most important influence; Europa; bombing of Dresden during World War II; and content of The Shepherdess.

Sasha McInnes. - 25 January 1987. - 2 audio cassettes (1 hr. 14 min. each) and 1 cm of textual records.
A recording and transcript of an interview conducted by Diana C. Coates with Sasha McInnes. Topics discussed include McInnes' childhood background and memories; family; Peruvian-Canadian contrasts; being a woman artist; learning weaving in the village of San Pedro de Cojas and her love of textiles; teaching textile design at Canadore College in North Bay; working with apprentices in London; symbolism in her work and the influence of The White Goddess; native symbols and culture; National Film Board project; artistic sponsorship; grants; juried exhibitions; and the London art community.

Thelma Rosner. - 30 July 1985. - 1 cm of textual records.
Transcript of an interview conducted by Diana C. Coates with Thelma Rosner. Topics discussed include Rosner's education at the University of Toronto in English and Philosophy; her first exposure to art in an art history course at Smith College, North Hampton, Massachusetts; experiences in Boston and England; art training in London at the University of Western Ontario with Duncan deKergommeaux (b. 1927), Mickey Handy, and Paterson Ewen (1925-2002); Molly Eynon as a friend; reasons for becoming an artist; obtaining the juror's award for her painting in Boulder, Colorado from Max Kosloff; her work, techiques, and studio; grants; Celtic Series at the London Regional Art Gallery, May 13-July 3, 1983; Thelma Ronser: Recent Paintings, McIntosh Art Gallery, The Unversity of Western Ontario, July 17-September 15, 1985; political involvement with CAR (Canadian Artists Representation); thoughts on being a woman artist and the London art community; self-motivation of the artist.

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Box List

Box Folder
Audio cassettes
Box 1 File 1 Silvia Clarke. - 23 March 1988. - 1 audio cassette.
File 2 Kerry Ferris. - 5 April 1987. - 2 audio cassettes.
File 3 Jamelie Hassan. - 28 May 1986. - 2 audio cassettes.
File 4 Sigrid Lochner. - 20 March 1986. - 2 audio cassettes.
File 5 Sasha Hayman [McInnes]. - 25 January 1987. - 2 audio cassettes.
Box Folder
Transcripts
Box 2 File 1 Silvia M.L. Clarke - Interview transcript - 23 March 1988
File 2 Kerry Ferris - Interview transcript - 5 April 1987
File 3 Jamelie Hassan - Interview transcript - 28 May 1986
File 4 Sigrid Lochner - Interview transcript - 20 March 1986
File 5 Sasha McInnes - Interview transcript - 25 January 1987
File 6 Thelma Rosner - Interview transcript - 30 July 1985

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