Human Rights Office

Human Rights Office
Human Rights Office

Tile D1


Maria Susanna Penning


Artist's Biography

Maria Susanna De Snaijer was born in 1935 in the small fishing village of Hoogvliet in the Netherlands. In 1961 she crossed the Atlantic to make a new home in Canada to realize her dream of working the land and raising animals. Although life was not easy eking out an existence on the farm it was her quiet determination, patience, and strength of faith that ensured the farm's success. To her, the farm was a labour of love.  Maria was my mother.


Artist's Statement

As busy as she was, she still found the time to tend to the things that brought her great joy; her children and sewing. This is the quilt she made me years ago that I still have on my bed today. Every stitch was hand-stitched with the love she held for me. Every stitch was made just like the last; even and steadfast.

When I am feeling afraid, lonesome, or sorrowful, I feel her with me, covering me with a blanket made of love, strength and unwavering faith.  It comforts me to know that she is near. It gives me the faith to believe that I can do anything; no one or nothing is going to break me. Thanks Mom