Antigonish Pictou Regional Library PARL. Antigonish, Nova Scotia
For "The People’s Place" Library Fireplace Surround, I have chosen to unite two aspects of Antigonish culture that I have come to admire. Living Stories weaves two imagined narratives that travel up the sides of the fireplace to join in the top section. The left side explores a world of past experiences, a world of self reliance and tireless work within declining small scale agrarian life. Amidst the beams of a barn, an aging man holds an axe. He is working in the barn and then following a fiery disaster he is forced to move into town.
The right hand side of Living Stories embodies friendship surrounded by natural beauty. People are gathered to enjoy a campfire, and the rush of the annual canoe down the West River. Along the top, the river unfurls into field, a harbour vista where the two stories, past and present, become one.
Drawing on these symbols and more, Hearth of Antigonish narrates a celebratory meeting of past and present, It depicts community members sharing stories about the past, bringing together history and the present.
Working with the woodworking firm, "Mac Lean Brothers Woodworking" this collaborative project required precise planning to ensure the finished fired tiles would fit perfectly within the prefabricated space. Hearth of Antigonish was sculkpted on an oversized wooden form that allowed for an exact 5% shrinking of the clay when fired. The fired completed tiles were installed on site inside the solid cherry trim.