St. Andrews-by-the-Sea, New Brunswick—Qonasqamkuk to the Indigenous Passamaquoddy and Maliseet people—is an attractive seaside “heritage” town that has been a tourist destination for over a hundred years, but it’s also an inspiring, year-round residence for many makers and artists.
Rather than using Google Maps or a tourist brochure, this fibre tour is guided by three contemporary hooked rugs, displayed in prominent St. Andrews tourist attractions.
As a rug hooking artist, I visited St. Andrews in 2019 for the Kingsbrae International Residency for the Arts (KIRA).
This beautiful hooked rug (the featured image, above) is a personal cartography rug depicting St. Andrews. It was made by Debbie Lessard (Moncton, NB), and hangs in the entranceway to the Kingsbrae café.
Pictorial landscape rugs such as this are personal cartographies, highly selective geographies assigning significance to place. The conventions of this fibre map are as firm as those governing any other mapmaking. They tell viewers how to superimpose the rug on the landscape: the “top” of the rug is the hilltop, and the “bottom” is the harbour. Significant buildings are large-scale and viewed from the same unobscured angle; tree cover, less significant buildings, and other complications are edited out.
All images by Nading Flagel, unless otherwise noted.