This project is an exploration of the biography of Joseph Cowan, who came to Canada as a “British home child” in 1915. The project stems from ongoing research by the authors into the life of Paula Cowan’s paternal grandfather, whose early life has been somewhat mysterious due both to the circumstances of his arrival in Canada, as well as his own reticence during his lifetime with regards to these circumstances.
Having been traded into what amounted to indentured servitude at the age of ten, Joe went on to travel extensively throughout Canada, taking on any work that he could find, weathering the Depression and military service during World War II. On a cultural level, his experience reflects many of the social upheavals of Canadian history in the twentieth century. On a personal level, the effects of uprootedness and itinerance invite a consideration of how one makes a home for oneself in the world.


Chris Down is an artist, teacher and writer living in Sackville, New Brunswick. He has exhibited his work nationally at the Art Gallery of Calgary, Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art, Museum London, Forest City Gallery, the Owens Art Gallery and the Art Gallery of Windsor among others. He has written features, reviews and catalogue essays for a variety of publications in Canada. He is currently assistant professor in painting and drawing at Mt. Allison University.

Paula Jean Cowan is an interdisciplinary artist living and working in Sackville, NB. She was born in London, Ontario and raised in the nearby small town of Thamesford, population 2000. She holds a B.A. from Queens’ University, a B.F.A. from the University of Western Ontario and an M.F.A. from the University of Guelph. 
In 2007 she moved to Sackville, New Brunswick with her husband, and her stepson.
She teaches when the opportunity arises; makes art as often as she can, bakes incessantly and plays with her three-year-old son.

The Authors would like to acknowledge the support of Mount Allison University for funding through a Cultureworks Development Grant.