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Laura Kenney was born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan but her roots are in Nova Scotia where she has resided for the past 20 years. She began rug hooking when she moved to Truro, NS in 1998. Her work has been represented by the Nova Scotia Folk Art Festival since 2009. It was at the festival, after talking with the artists and seeing the art, that she realized her whimsical, colourful rugs were indeed ‘Folk Art’.
“Rug hooking is a traditional art form steeped in the folk culture of Atlantic Canada. When I hook, I feel a connection to the women who hooked rugs centuries ago, making loops through old feed bags with worn out clothing - a simpler time. They hooked rural and domestic scenes and we learned about the makers and the times through their art.”
Kenney received juried status with the Nova Scotia Craft Council in 2010. Her work ‘Morning Routine‘ and ‘Waiting for the Cat to Let Her Out’ were purchased by the Nova Scotia Art Bank for their permanent collection. In 2016, she had her first solo show at the Mary E Black Gallery in Halifax and a selection of Kenney's work was included in ‘Terrior’, a group exhibit at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in 2016-17.
“My hope is to bring rug hooking back to its roots of free expression. I use an alter ego named Judy to tell stories. She is out spoken and would say things I would be afraid to tell. She struggles with this modern day world, with the mundane tasks facing her and yet seems to be able to handle it all in her own way. A cranky cat, and a boring task of ironing isn't going to get her down.”
Laura Kenney works from her studio in her small green house where she lives with her husband and two children.