Joanna Dermenjian

Through my research and art, I am exploring cultural themes of women’s work, societal expectations and feminism, with particular interest in Western women’s roles in the first half of the 20th century. Using found textiles, domestic artifacts and primary source articles and advertisements, I play with the images, ideas and words around domesticity, home, femininity and womanhood. I explore how women used embroidered and sewn words, designs and images to express the contraction of their surroundings and the continuum of the monotony of their daily lives around the home.  My research has led me to investigate Canadian women’s unpaid labour in textiles during the Second World War, to supply over 52,000,000 comforts and supplies for the war effort and to British and European refugees, including over 400,000 quilts. Find out more at

This quilt is inspired by research I am conducting into the quilts made by Canadian women during the Second World War, made primarily for British and European civilians. I chose a traditional 20th century North American quilt pattern of interconnecting circles, along with stitched words from academic and primary sources, to illustrate the intersecting themes and ideas around the charitable production of quilts during wartime, as considered through academic lenses and cultural expectations.