Deanne Fitzpatrick, Laura Kenney &
Steven Rhude “Canada’s Ocean Playground” … a sometimes painfully beautiful place
Opening reception: Saturday, July 21st, 2-4 pm
Harvest Gallery, 462 Main St.
Wolfville, NS (902) 542-7093
Contact: Lynda Macdonald firstname.lastname@example.org
Wolfville, NS – July 16th, 2018 Deanne Fitzpatrick, Laura Kenney & Steven Rhude “Canada’s Ocean Playground” … a sometimes painfully beautiful place opens Saturday, July 21st at Harvest Gallery in Wolfville. “The slogan is on our license plates…” writes Laura Kenney. “What comes to mind when you think about Canada’s Ocean Playground … frolicking on the beach … teeter tottering with a lighthouse, getting a buzz at a vineyard?” (the title of two of Laura’s rugs). “Maybe that is what people do on their 2-week vacation out East – sticking to the touristy spots, [not seeing] the boarded up houses, the poverty.” “Hiking our clear cuts, the stinky pulp and paper mill – might want to avoid that … not to mention the potholes”, continues Laura. What do you think? Answering her own question, she explains “on bad days I think, ‘have not province’ or ‘we had it good before we joined Canada’, on better days I think, “land of the lobster” or “the place of good craft beer.” “But really I think, “A place that is beautiful, complicated and often on the verge of extinction … the underdog, the place always trying to find the thing that will save itself. “A bit long for a license plate, but that is what I’m going with.”
Steven Rhude’s feelings about Nova Scotia are equally complicated. His work both honours a colourful maritime culture (fishing buoys in still life and “Roxanne Rowing off Canso, NS”), and lament’s its possible fate. “My painting “Peggy’s World – Canada’s Ocean Playground” is a deliberate riff on Andrew Wyeth’s ‘Christina’s World’, a painting that takes a nostalgic look at the passing of American agrarian culture while modernism and later, post modernism, claimed the mantle for America’s attention in its elusive quest for prosperity. Peggy’s World is one aspect of Nova Scotia, hardly an ocean playground as she looks up at the Northern Pulp Mill exhaling its industrial breath. Yet, Nova Scotia remains for me one of the most painfully beautiful places I’ve ever seen or lived in. Why is that?
Deanne Fitzpatick’s “Canada’s Ocean Playground” is a fair bit more literal, forgiving – even optimistic. She sees her rugs as the ocean floor, or the beach at low tide. She hooked them as if she were walking on the beach finding things. “Whenever we walk the beach, we have our heads down as if we are trying to find a bit of magic washed up on shore”, she explains. “In these rugs, I created my own magic as I went along. The show runs until August 18th at Wolfville’s Harvest Gallery. Images and information can be found online at www.harvestgallery.ca