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) and was an associate of the prestigious graphic workshop Atelier 17 in Paris.
Her early work--The Secret Garden (1976) and Three Mirrors to Narcissus (1979)--challenged assumptions about gender and sexual roles in Western society. During the 1980s and 1990s she travelled extensively in England, France and Italy, focusing on the structure and symbolism of historic gardens. Beauty and its desecration became obsessions, culminating in The Last Silence--Pavane for a Dying World (1993-1997), part of the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Canada.
In 1976, Dickson was elected a Royal Academician (RA) by the Royal Academy of Arts, in London, England, the only Canadian in the 200-year history of this prestigious institution to have been so honoured. She is, in addition, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers (London, England). She was named to the Order of Canada (CM) in 1995. She lives in Ottawa.