Tuesday, February 9, 2010

More on Joyce Wieland

Toronto artist Joyce Wieland (1930-1998) was a young adult after World War II during the 1950s. During the war, many women worked in factories or in other jobs to help the war efforts. When the war was over, they were expected to go back to keeping a spotless house and making a home for a husband and dad. (The ads during the fities included images of smiling women in tidy skirts behind a vacuum cleaner or serving Ovaltine to their husband in front of a fireplace with kids sitting quietly on a couch.)

Wieland was caught between the idea of a "happily-ever-after" marriage and her passion for her art. Her thoughts about how she wanted to live her life are written in her journals from the early to mid fifties. Here is a brief excerpt from November 1955."Why for God's sake cannot we girls be brought up to be humans instead of dependent wretches. We cannot find happiness this way. Its [sic] not like in the movies, we don't always grow up and get married and live happily. And this is the truth which kills me a little more each day and disables me - little by little."

The volume "Joyce Wieland: Writings and Drawings 1952-1971" includes many more selections from her journals, along with her sketches. This book will be published in March by Porcupine's Quill in Erin, Ontario.

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