For many years contemporary artist Beverley Tosh has explored women's experiences during the Second World War through her paintings. During interviews with Canadian airwomen Tosh "witnessed the pride in RCAF airwomen's voices as they quoted the motto 'Through Adversity to the Stars.'" Tosh has painted Sergeant Mollie Mickelson in her Royal Canadian Air Force Women’s Division (RCAF WD) uniform and cap. Mickelson looks steadfastly out at the viewer, an embodiment of the motto. Framing her, in the standard courier font of the typewriter she would have used in her secretarial work in the RCAF WD, are the words of the motto. However, Tosh has replaced the A in “Stars” with a Star of David, underlining the unique background of these Jewish servicewomen.
Bev Tosh, a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, received her Master of Fine Art in Painting, University of Calgary and graduated with distinction from the Alberta College of Art & Design. Tosh has received numerous honours and awards and is the daughter of a New Zealand pilot and his Canadian war bride. One-Way Passage, her war brides series, has been exhibited nationally and internationally.
For more information on the featured servicewoman see
Mollie Mickelson (Klein), She Also Serves Website