Ruth has been a mat maker since 1995. She works primarily with wool yarn to create mats which capture Newfoundland and Labrador past and present especially as it relates to her connections to places throughout the province. Though her works vary in size, Ruth particularly likes large scale mats. Some of her larger pieces include Portugal Cove c1920, Quidi Vidi c1900, the Battery c1960 as well as modern day Quirpon and Fortune. Her works have been exhibited at the Battle Harbour National Historic Site of Canada, the Arts and Letters Competition, the Bonavista North Museum Gallery, the Kildevil Fair and Auntie Crae’s. Ruth and her work have also appeared in a Parks Canada promotional video. Her works hang in private collections across Canada. She has taught mat making for the Provincial Museum, the provincial Youth Heritage Forum and to private students. In this episode, Ruth talks about her introduction to mat making, explains the process being making a hooked mat and the materials involved, different styles of designs, the role of place, memory and history in her work, and the differences between hooked and poked mats.
Marlene Creates is an environmental artist and poet who lives in Portugal Cove, Newfoundland. Underlying all her work is an interest in place—not as a geographical location but a process that involves memory, multiple narratives, ecology, and language. Her work has been presented in over 350 exhibitions and screenings both across Canada and internationally, and is in many public collections, including the National Gallery of Canada. We discuss how Marlene got her start in art, how she found herself in Newfoundland, her work in Newfoundland and Labrador on place, the importance of place, several recent projects including her memory maps and important place awards, and her new book “Brickle, Nish, and Knobbly: A Newfoundland Treasury of Terms for Ice and Snow”.
Andrea McGuire is completing her MA degree in Folklore at Memorial University. She is currently in the throes of writing her master’s thesis on hitchhiking traditions in Newfoundland and Cape Breton. In her thesis, she is looking at how trust, in its many variations, influences the way hitchhiking is practiced, and the way hitchhiking stories are told. We discuss why Andrea chose hitchhiking for her thesis, how she conducted her research, the difference between short and long distance hitchhiking, how gender effects hitchhiking, the stories people tell and the techniques they use, the brief history of hitchhiking in Newfoundland, and examples of the hitchhiking stories she has heard.
Ken O'Brien is the Chief Municipal Planner for the City of St. John's, involved with land-use planning, rezonings, heritage planning and environmental planning. He graduated from MUN in 1986 with a B.A. in Religious Studies and a minor in Math (having tried Engineering first), then attended Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, graduating with a Master's in Urban and Regional Planning in 1991. He likes history and old buildings and is a member of the Canadian Institute of Planners. We discuss what a land use planner does and what they study, the importance of the social history of buildings, his work with the city of St. John’s, changes in the past 20 years, the benefits of heritage regulations, St. John’s storm doors, the Atlantic Planners Institute and the Planners’ Plate series, how community members can get involved with planning, mapping community assets, the oddities of downtown St. John’s, and growing up in Georgestown.
Colleen Quigley holds a Masters degree specializing in Archives from University of Toronto and is Acting Head of Archives and Special Collections at Memorial Libraries. Her primary responsibilities include managing the vast treasures of the division’s Performing Arts Collection, which included North America’s largest online performing arts poster collection. In addition to archival work Colleen is also a trained dancer, with a degree from York University, who performs and choreographs regularly. We discuss how Colleen started working with archives, her work with ANLA and a dance think tank which moved Colleen into the archives world, her work with the Archives and Special Collections at Memorial University in