Canada’s best-known author, poet, activist, and feminist icon, Margaret Atwood, fondly known as Peggy, is a Canadian treasure, having won numerous literary awards and dozens of honourary doctorates.

Colour features prominently in her recent works. In her 1985 novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, a frighteningly prescient story about a near-future America ruled by a totalitarian regime, she selected a dark red for the handmaids’ robes, which have become a symbol of oppression, regularly worn by groups protesting the erosion of women’s rights.

In her 2019 novel, The Testaments, the spring green of the robes of the teenage brides, a hue she has suggested evokes hope, is also a colour of the eco-movement.

Adapted from a reference photograph by Liam Sharp, with his kind permission

Currently touring with SAQA “Colour With a U” exhibition:

  • Until Sept 7, 2020: Homer Watson House & Gallery, Kitchener, ON
  • Oct 9, 2020 – Feb 28, 2021: St Francis Xavier University Art Gallery, Antigonish, NS

Hand-dyed cheesecloth, hand-painted cotton canvas, monofilament and polyester threads, felt

Photo: Thomas Blanchard

Spec: 24"x40" cheesecloth, cotton, acrylic and oil paint