Artist Joanne Kaar recreates traditional “house move” with rope made of clothes

Joanne B. Kaar was the Craftperson in Residence in Gros Morne National Park in March 2016, coming to Woody Point all the way from northern Scotland! During her time with the residency in Woody Point, she spent some time learning about Newfoundland resettlement, and the process of moving homes by towing them across frozen bays with rope.

via the Maritime History Archive, Memorial University (link)

via the Maritime History Archive, Memorial University (link)

via the Maritime History Archive, Memorial University (link)

via the Maritime History Archive, Memorial University (link)

Intrigued, Joanne began collecting old clothing from the residents of Woody Point to turn in to a rope, with the intention of reenacting one of the house moves you would have seen through resettlement.

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Thanks to Joanne Kaar for submitting this image of herself with the rope made of clothes!

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Thanks to Joanne Kaar for submitting this image of herself with the rope made of clothes!

Calling on residents of the Woody Point community to be a part of the fun, she gathered a large group of people on a chilly winter day at an old house. Draping the rope around the house, the group hoisted the clothing-rope on their shoulders, and headed for Bonne Bay.

Obviously they didn’t actually move the house (as Joanne said to the group, “the rope would break long before the house moved a millimetre), but the visual was very cool.

Here’s what it looked like, and check out the video above to hear Joanne talk about the project.

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Joanne B. Kaar was in Gros Morne National Park to participate in the Craftperson in Residence program through the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador, in partnership with Creative Gros Morne. Learn more about Joanne Kaar at her website, or see what she’s been up to while she’s been in Gros Morne on her blog.

Tom Cochrane

Tom Cochrane is a digital storyteller and the creative director of Old Crow Magazine. Tom's photography and videography work can be found at tomcochranephoto.com. Tom is based in Newfoundland, Canada.