Used with permission from a blog entry by Nova Scotia painter and friend of Laura Kenney - Steven Rhude.
“Over the last five years or so I've taken an interest in the domestic, and regional message of a character named "Judy", who is magnetic because she is not global, but local. Not gone mainstream - but has preferred instead to go down stream - into the murkiness of Nova Scotia's cultural world where issues seldom raise an eyebrow beyond the frequency of facebook; which is where coincidentally I saw my first "Judy" rug hooking."
"Judy came to life through the art form of rug hooking, a mystic form of art making involving the anonymous material of textile. The voice of textile speaks through memory, and we prize it for all kinds of occasions, yet like the contents of a Frenchy's bin, seldom know from whence it came. An underrated art form, obscure to many, yet none the less, a time honoured traditional medium with historic roots in Nova Scotia, it has seen a resurgence owing to the regional principles of individual artists and the co-operative support inherent in fibre enthusiasts.
“Judy on the other hand is not anonymous, although her origins are quite mysterious. Perhaps she may be connected to the familiar dress makers manikin also nicknamed "Judy ", but this too remains conjecture. It's true she is without facial features, but she does have red hair, and is portrayed consistently in a black dress with red boots. She has a cat, a crow, an ironing board, a bathtub, a toilet, an abundant supply of wine, and a serious bad ass attitude. For women, she is an advocate and will not allow her voice to be silent. For men, she is a partner in crime, in a post cod world of collapse and outsourcing."
Laura Kenney explains, “I created an alter ego character named Judy to tell stories ... she is outspoken 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 the boring task of ironing isn't going to get her down!”