Home Economics: 150 Years of Canadian Rug Hooking

I went to the curator’s talk yesterday…dragging my two children as Dad was away for a conference. They loaded up at the snack table and were very happy and I got out my notebook and took notes as fast as I could as Roxanne spoke.

Roxane Shaughnessy, Textile Museum of Canada, gave a great overview of rug hooking…inĀ  Canada..over the last 150 years… from the pioneer days to the cottage industries in Grenfell and Cheticamp to the contemporary rugs.

There were a couple of things that she said that will probably show up in a rug or two:
unknown makers…cottage industries rising from the constant economic crisis in the East…matting season…Gagetown Hookers..and Florence Ryder.

There was a time for questions at the end of the talk and I asked Roxane, “There is a big debate in the rug hooking world as to whether rug hooking is art or craft and what do you think…is rug hooking art or craft?”…. Roxane answered…”art”… and she very cleverly didn’t elaborate.

After the talk, I took a peak around and spent most of the time on the top floor where the contemporary rugs were located. These rugs caught my attention as I felt the artists were trying to tell me something and I wanted to take the time and figure out what they had to say.

It was interesting for me to see where I fit in with the history and I am quite happy to be carrying on the tradition…I have no choice really.

The show is on till Nov 6th at the MSVU Art Gallery in Bedford, NS.

© 2017 Kraft