During World War II, more than 4,000 New Zealand women, including artist Juliet Peter, took over the essential farm and station work of the 28,000 men required for military service.
During World War II, more than 4,000 New Zealand women, including artist Juliet Peter, took over the essential farm and station work of the 28,000 men required for military service. This talk by author Dianne Bardsley (The Land Girls: In a Man’s World, 1939-1946) highlights the contribution of the Canterbury women who became land girls, and their links to the Suffrage Bill which became the 1893 Electoral Act almost fifty years earlier.
Juliet Peter: Where the Line Leads
Delightful observations of character and place, from rural Canterbury to bustling 1950s London.
Juliet Peter was born into a farming family in mid- Canterbury. She spent her childhood at Anama station near Mount Somers until the early death of her mother, and her teenage years were spent in England with her older sister and brother and an aunt. Returning to New Zealand, she studied painting at the Canterbury College School of Art from 1936–40 and graduated in wartime. For the war effort, Peter joined the New Zealand Women’s Land Service to become a ‘Land Girl’ at Rydal Downs near Okuku. The Land Girls’ life at Rydal Downs saw Peter engaged in almost every aspect of keeping a mixed sheep and grain farm operational, including most of their own food production. Remarkably, Peter also found time to record something of their everyday activity through a series of paintings and pen-and-ink sketches.
(Beneath the ranges, 18 February – 23 October 2017)