Jennifer Dickson had already established an international reputation as an artist, before emigrating to Canada in 1969. Born in the Republic of South Africa in 1936, she studied at Goldsmiths’ College School of Art (University of London, England) from 1954 - 1959; and from 1960 - 1965 was an Associate of the prestigious graphic workshop, Atelier 17 in Paris, studying under the late S.W. Hayter. She has lived and worked in England, France, Jamaica and the U.S.A. In 1974 she became a Canadian Citizen.
Since 1962, Jennifer Dickson has had more than 60 one-person exhibitions in six countries and has participated in more than 400 group exhibitions. She has been a guest lecturer at nine U.S.A. Universities, and has been invited to speak across Canada at Canadian art schools and universities.
Her awards include the Prix de Jeunes Artistes pour Gravure, from the 1963 Biennale de Paris, and a Special Purchase Award from the World Print Competition (San Francisco Museum of Art, 1974). In 1980 she was awarded the Biennale Prize of the 5th Norwegian International Print Biennale. She has represented Canada in the Internationale Buchkunst-Austellung Leipzig on several occasions since 1977. In 1988 her book, The Hospital for Wounded Angels, was chosen by the Association of Canadian Publishers as the Canadian book for presentation at the London Book Fair.
In 1976 Jennifer Dickson was elected a Royal Academician by the Royal Academy of Art, in London, England - - the only Canadian in the 200 year history of this prestigious institution to have been so honored. She is, in addition, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers (London, England). In 1988 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Alberta, Edmonton, for her contribution to Canadian culture.
The Still Photography Division of the National Film Board has supported and circulated two major exhibitions of Jennifer Dickson’s photo-based imagery: “The Secret Garden” (1975) and “The Earthly Paradise” (1980). The PARADISE exhibition was shown in 1981 at the Centre Culturel Canadien in Paris.
Jennifer Dickson’s photographs of Versailles are reproduced in a book of poems by Jane Urquart entitled, The Little Flowers of Madame de Montespan (Porcupine’s Quill, Inc. 1984). Her photographs were used as cover images on The Revels by Robert Billings (Porcupine’s Quill, Inc. 1987) and The Fountains of Neptune by Rikki du Cornet (McClelland & Stewart, 1989).
Jennifer Dickson’s exhibition, The Last Silence, organized by the new Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography (an affiliate of the National Gallery of Canada) toured the Palazzo Te in Mantua, Italy and the Canadian Cultural Centre in Rome in 1993. The Last Silence exhibit opened at the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography in Ottawa in November 1993.