I grew up in Sibley’s Cove, Trinity Bay and have vivid memories of women gathering each summer to wash out their mats (hooked rugs) and have a boil-up at the beach. Though I was exposed and learned many ‘handy crafts’ from a very early age, I didn’t try rug hooking until I retired from teaching and had the freedom to follow my own creative whims, which usually incorporate elements from everyday life.
Living by Newfoundland’s coastline is a gift to any artist. The rugged cliffs and pounding seas, or quiet beaches and lapping waves, give me a sense of peace and oneness with nature. The vast sea surrounds me with it’s smells and sounds, and I feel solace, alone with my thoughts and feelings. All of this I love, and continually find ways to incorporate these elements into my hooked works, especially the changing moods of the sea, the color of the rocks as water pours over them, and the clinging vegetation that grows on the shoreline.
The opportunity for self-expression through style, texture and color as I design and complete my own patterns is fulfilling. While I like variety, I particularly enjoy pictorials, (story rugs) and I see them as a wonderful way to “capture a moment in time”. Blizzard on the Barrens, depicting a cottage hospital nurse, and The Caribou at Beaumont Hamel, are both examples of rugs that preserve our history.
My mother, Beatrice Halliday Squires (1920-2007), spent many hours knitting sweaters, socks, mitts, hats, or scarves, and crocheting doilies, fine edges to pillow cases and bureau cloths, and full-length table cloths. All beautifully and professionally crafted. She always was, and continues to be a great inspiration to me and my work.
The piece present in Engulfed 2024 in collaboration with Frances Ennis highlights this new feature of combining previously created crochet works by those no longer with us, and give them a new purpose. Wearable art! We stand firm in our intention to honor and let shine the maker as we create new textile art works.
In this instance, we honour Beatrice Halliday Squires (1920-2007) Maxine’s Mother, who created the crochet table cloth used in the creation of “A Man’s Cloak”.
Her legacy will continue!
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