Deanne Fitzpatrick grew up on a hill overlooking the water, and watching it was her pastime. "That is a natural part of life by the water," she explains. "You watch it and plan your day by the rhythms of the tides. The omnipotence of the water is clear and understood by coastal people. It is said that you should never take the water for granted because it can only be counted on to change." Deanne's rug 'The Lookout' captures the essence of what she saw.
Wanting What I Have
I am so small
My pick up sits in the front drive
The pitch of my roof is perfect,
Deanne Fitzpatrick March 2004
Meet Deanne Fitzpatrick
Deanne Fitzpatrick grew up in Freshwater, Placentia Bay, Newfoundland, the youngest of seven children. Her mother and both of her grandmothers hooked rugs as a past time, and as a chore of necessity. By the time she was born both her grandmothers had died and her mother had long since abandoned rug hooking as a chore of poverty.
In Newfoundland in the late sixties, and early seventies very few people were hooking, though there was still a scattered mat hanging about peoples back doors. For the most part it was out with the old and in with the new. Deanne can still see Rita Murphy, her friends mother, sitting in her back room, hooking away on her mats. Her floors were a carpet of many multicoloured hooked rugs. At the time it seemed to Deanne to be an old fashioned thing.
Little did she know that she would spend years doing exactly the same thing. Deanne learned to hook rugs because she wanted rugs for an old farmhouse where she had settled. Though I did not know how to hook, it was something she had always been familiar with.
As a teenager, she began seeing rugs for what they were. She marveled that a womans' hand had pulled up every loop in a rug that lay on the floor of her sisters' farmhouse. In my mid twenties, she went to an annual meeting of The Rug Hooking Guild of Nova Scotia, and Marion Kennedy taught her the basics. She learned how to cut your wool, and how to pull up a loop, then she told her to get to it.
As soon as Deanne started hooking rugs she knew it was for her. It was a simple technique, and she could see her progress. She finished my first little stamped pattern with in a week and so it began.
Deanne learned that she could tell stories, and express herself through rug hooking. This is what really got her involved with it. Each time she makes a rug she creates a new design.
In many of her pieces Deanne tells stories or expresses ideas about the world. Now she works full time as a rug hooking artist. Each piece she creates is different from the last. She uses recycled cloth, gathers old wool clothing from real people in real communities. The clothes are washed dryed and torn apart. It is then hooked loop by loop on a a backing of burlap or linen.
Deanne Fitzpatrick at Soul Food
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