The women in Defying Convention seized the Modernist potential for intuitively expressing contemporary life around them, the people who inhabited their worlds, and their desire for self-expression. By asserting their identities as artists, they also resisted the social prescription that a woman’s sphere was primarily the home. Instead, they occupied multiple roles as artists and activists, mothers and mentors, wives and lovers, teachers and community builders.
The work of these artists represents the lives and experiences of women from across Canada: from Nunavik to the Prairies, from British Columbia to Eastern Canada. Their stories are as rich and diverse as the styles they explored. The art they made reveals the insistent nature of their personal visions.