Newfoundland native's rug collection acquired by Art Gallery of Nova Scotia

The Very Mention of Home is a testament to her birthplace

Darrell Cole darrell.cole@tc.tc
Published on December 8, 2016

AMHERST, N.S. – It has been more than 30 years since Deanne Fitzpatrick left her home in Newfoundland.

But memories of home remain a big part of her being as expressed in a collection of 22 unique, colourful rugs that have been acquired by the Art Gallery of Nova.

I suddenly knew that these rugs that were inside me would be different than anything I had done before. Twenty-five years of living changes the story. Our memories are living and breathing because they are part of us. Deanne Fitzpatrick

Born and raised in Placentia, N.L, Fitzpatrick has worked as an artist in Nova Scotia for 25 years. 

The collection is called The Very Mention of Home. 

“The rugs are a testament to the value of home and how we never let go of the indelible mark it has left upon us,” Fitzpatrick said. “They are about community, but they are also about isolation. As much as they are about love, they are also about loss.”

Fitzpatrick says she had a sudden, strong urge to revisit the theme of home that she had first explored 25 years ago. “It came upon me like a wave. I had not expected that the pressure to revisit would come so unexpectedly,” she says. “The force of inspiration was such that I was compelled to start again immediately from a different place.”

On Sunday morning, as she was looking at photos of Newfoundland, she had a sudden, strong urge to revisit the theme of home that she had when she first started as an artist.

“It came upon me like a wave,” she said. “I suddenly knew that these rugs that were inside me would be different than anything I had done before. Twenty-five years of living changes the story. Our memories are living and breathing because they are part of us."

She said people still well up at the mention of home and still ponder the memory of it.

“It remains with us all our lives, following us from place to place and settling down with us wherever we go.”

Fitzpatrick said her thoughts often wander back to Newfoundland and the house where she grew up, “pitched on a bank, tall and straight as if it might topple down over the hill and into the sea.”

She is thrilled that her work will be kept together and cared for at the AGNS. At the beginning of her career, the Halifax-based gallery purchased one of Fitzpatrick's rugs and held a successful exhibit of her work that toured Atlantic Canada. 

The Deanne Fitzpatrick Rug Hooking Studio, in downtown Amherst, has put together a 2017 calendar featuring 12 of the rugs in the collection.

All proceeds from the calendar will go to community mental health programs.  Priced at $20, including shipping, they are available at Fitzpatrick's website, www.hookingrugs.com

darrellcole@tc.tc

Twitter: @ADNdarrell