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"A woman's journey into her past. Kathryn Church is an academic, a feminist, without children. Every choice she has made took her further from the life her mother led."

[ CBC Radio - This Morning ]

The exhibit features 23 wedding dresses sewn by Lorraine Church of Lacombe, Alberta, between the years 1950 and 1995. Narrated by her daughter, Kathryn, a sociologist, it brings Lorraine's voice as designer and seamstress together with the voices of her 'customers:' the friends, family and neighbours who co-created the dresses.

On one level, this exhibit is simply a celebration of Lorraine's work, a public expression of gratitude for her private labour over the years. Beyond the personal, it honors women, women's work and relationships in small prairie communities. It also investigates how women come to understand what it means to be female. The dresses in Lorraine's collection are a discourse on femininity, one that the women she sewed for literally wore into the world.

The Canadian prairies, where culture and creativity bloom, like the prairie rose, Alberta's provincial flower.

Louise McLeod