TIDNISH BRIDGE ART GALLERY
3654 Highway 366, Tidnish Bridge, N.S. B4H 3X9
EXHIBITION: “ Ruby Anderson’s Scrapbook”, Fibre Arts by Gwen Dixon
October 8 through October 15, 2017
Reception: Wednesday, October 11 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Community inspires art, as art inspires community.
Artist Gwen Dixon of Riverview, N.B. was inspired to produce a series of fibre art pieces (rug hookings, feltings) by a scrapbook of newspaper clippings about community life in rural Maritime Canada from the 1940s to 1960s. “Some of the stories from the clippings are charming and delightful, others report the facts and are seemingly resigned to the times, and others are tragically sad. They reflect humor, irony, and social commentary as well as a universality of human experience, no matter what the time frame or where the place.” As Gwen Dixon notes, “The happenstance of some of them makes one consider the big picture of fortune, misfortune, and/or the possibility of a hand that guides us. They bring lots of images to mind for me”.
Ruby Anderson passed away in 2010 at the age of 94 years. She had lived most of her life in the small rural communities along the Fundy shore. She came from a very large family and was said to have a very keen interest in all of her extended family and in anyone else from the local communities. She was the last surviving member of the Waterside Baptist Church, in effect making her the owner of this church, which after her death was struck by lightning and burned to the ground.
The families of Ruby Anderson and Dixon’s father, Howard, knew each other and Ruby had helped Howard Dixon in his genealogical research. During the course of their conversations Ruby mentioned that she had a large book and suitcase, plus several boxes of loose newspaper clippings she had saved. In 2004, Howard Dixon compiled the clippings into what is called “Ruby Anderson’s Scrapbook”.
This was indeed a major project, completed with considerable care, for ease of access for genealogical research. The articles were placed on the pages depending on where they fit, like a puzzle, according to Gwen’s father. Because of this, happiness, birth, weddings, war injuries, and tragic deaths are sometimes all together on the same page, next to each other.
The index is almost 100 pages in length. Even the mention of a person in a bridal party or as a pall bearer warranted referencing. Around 100 copies of the Scrapbook were sold, with the exception of a few kept or given as gifts. Many have used it for genealogical research.
According to Gwen Dixon, “The real treasure lies in the stories that are told in these newspaper clippings. They have become an endless source of inspiration for me.”
For further information, contact:
Tidnish Bridge Art Gallery