A little over a year ago…

A little over a year ago I answered a call for proposals to Midland Junction Arts Centre for their 2018 exhibition program. Projects with a connection to the Midland region were encouraged.

My Nanna came from Melbourne to live in the Midland area in 1941 after a proposal by Grandfather. BelowMidland Junction Railway Station where my Grandfather was waiting to meet my Nanna arriving on the Transcontinental Railway, image courtesy of the Swan Local History Collection. My Mother and Father went to High School at what is now the Midland Junction Arts Centre. My Mother’s classroom is now the East Gallery where my exhibition will be held. My Mother, her Father, Grandfather, Uncles and Cousins all worked at the Government Railways in Midland…it felt like the right place to exhibit.

For a number of years, I have also been thinking about the contrasts between my life and those of my Mother and Nanna. Nan started her married life away from her family in an isolated city during WW2 with the hardships of rationing and very hot summers. My Mum had to resign from her job in order to marry my Father, because the “Marriage Bar” was still in place denying women to work in the Public Service after they were married. BelowMy Mum, a young 19 year old on her last day at work just before she got married. This was on the cusp of the Women’s Lib movement and the introduction of the contraceptive pill (for married women only). My generation has had many more freedoms, but also the expectation to “do it all”.

It has been a delight to explore the family stories of the maternal women in my family through this project. You can discover a lot of information through historical records, significant dates such as births, deaths and marriages, but personal letters and documents, and multiple conversations with my Mother this year, have given me a much greater insight to the choices she has made, the challenges she and my Nanna have faced, and the lovely incidental stories. We spent a wonderful day exploring the Midland area she grew up in and more recently we visited the Midland Library to view old photographs held in the City of Swan Local History Collection where we discovered photos of old Midland landmarks. A wonderful surprise was finding this one below. My Grandfather as a child and his parents are among this group.

 Of Our Time – Ordinary Lives is the result of this project. It opens Saturday 24th November 6.30pm and continues until 21 December.
Open Wed – Fri 10am – 5pm.
Midland Junction Arts Centre
276 Great Eastern Highway
Cnr of Cale St
Midland WA

2 thoughts on “A little over a year ago…

  1. I am looking forward to this exhibition. Your Mum looks so young! And being forced to retire! Probably a year or two after that I had to resign from my teaching job (aged 21) and be re-employed because I was getting married. Still only received about 2/3 of the pay of the blokes with whom we went through Uni.

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