THELMA A Life in Pictures
Thelma Stevens Pepper was born in Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, in 1920. A century later — from her adoptive home in Saskatoon — she reflects on a hundred years of life, love, and pictures.
It was creativity and passion that rescued Thelma Pepper from the depths of depression. With her kids grown and gone, she was floundering, wondering who she was, and what she was meant to do. In photography, she found what her father and grandfather before her had found and that was a capacity to peer into other lives and to find in them a celebration of the human spirit.
In these stunning black and white photographs, we see Pepper's artistry. We see landscapes and beauty, but especially we see noble, pioneer lives found in quiet hamlets and down dusty back roads. These uncelebrated souls may not have been lost to posterity, but Pepper ensures their dignity and achievement are remembered and preserved.
"Amy Jo Ehman has deeply understood why Thelma Pepper's photographs speak so powerfully: they show how our ordinary world is in fact never ordinary. What makes Thelma Pepper's photographs so powerful is how she opens our eyes to the beauty that surrounds us and that we may take for granted. Ehman takes us into Thelma's world, a Saskatchewan where beauty and stories are always present, patiently waiting to be seen and heard."
— David Gutnick, CBC radio documentary producer and writer. He spent his summers on his grandparents' farm in Mozart.
Amy Jo Ehman is an award-winning author and journalist. Her previous books include Out of Old Saskatchewan Kitchens and Prairie Feast:A Writer's Journey Home for Dinner, as well as a pictorial history of Saskatoon. She is the recipient of a Saskatchewan Book Award and was shortlisted for Taste Canada and High Plains Book Awards. As a writer, she loves to explore the intersection of history and the present day. Thelma Pepper provided that in spades.