Sunday, June 12, 2011

Rug-hooking brings history and ties to old country

Rug-hooking brings history and ties to old country

Published on June 6, 2011
Published on June 6, 2011
The Charter story by

Elizabeth MacDonald

Topics :
National Trust of Guernsey , Canadian Portrait Academy , Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador , Guernsey , Channel Islands , Newfoundland and Labrador
For Paula Flood of Whitbourne, hooking rugs is a labour of love that helps bring together the present and the past.
Flood currently has three rugs she designed and hooked on display at an international exhibition called “Hooked Between Two Islands – Hooked Rugs of Guernsey, Channel Islands and Newfoundland & Labrador,” sponsored by the National Trust of Guernsey in collaboration with the Canadian Portrait Academy in Guernsey, Channel Islands.
Flood is a native Newfoundlander whose rug hooking can be directly traced back to her ancestors from Woody Island, Placentia Bay, who may well have come from places like Guernsey, Jersey, and other locales where rug hooking was also an art born of necessity.
She has been interested in rug hooking her whole life. Born in Buchans, one of six children, she taught herself to hook rugs and as a young woman used rug hooking as a way to express herself creatively.
She decided to sign up for a beginner rug hooking course in nearby Springdale, and as she states it, she “was hooked.” By the time she was 13 years old, she had become a member of the Springdale Women’s Institute and was working with fibre in a number of genres including crocheting, knitting and cross-stitching. She eventually started designing the patterns she would create with wool and recycled t-shirts.
Flood said she spend plenty of summers in the province in and around Woody Island, Placentia Bay and Winterton, Trinity Bay where she enjoyed herself with hiking, berry picking and, sitting on the daybed by a warm fire with the smell of homemade bread while learning to knit with her mother.
Those are some of her fondest memories.
Translating those happy memories to hooked rugs became a great way to connect those happy memories to a much-loved craft. She said she sees a rug design in almost every scene in the province, from coves to salt box houses, from churches, stages, coves and farms to the animals and creatures that live in each of those places.
Now, her efforts are getting some international notice with this display and exhibition in Guernsey, although, she has displayed her work in this province at the “Comfort and Joy” exhibit at Devon House in St. John’s (through the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador), as well as at the Shag Rock artist exhibit in 2010 and the Whiteway March Hare in 2011.
The exhibit in Guernsey is a first between the two islands, showing at the Guernsey Folk and Costume Museum, Guernsey, Channel Islands (UK). The display features over 20 textile artists 10 of whom are from this province, including Benjamin Trickett Mercer, Evie Newton, Shaun O’Hagan and Christian Corbet, Paula Flood, Sharon Kean, Christa Didham, Linda Pike Low, Joan Foster and the late Irven Foss.
“The two islands, which for centuries have had significant ties both in the cod fishing trade and emigration, have come together again to create an international exhibition to reveal the ancient art of the hooked rug and how each island has its own methods. It’s an honour to have worked collaboratively with everyone to achieve this outstanding exhibition,” said Canadian curator and renowned artist Christian Corbet who created the concept of the exhibit and will open the show and present a public demonstration on how hooked mats and rugs are created here and in Guernsey.
Plans are being made to have the exhibition travel to the Corner Brook Museum and Archives for 2012.
Flood said she is thrilled to be part of this exhibition and is pleased her work is being recognized.
Flood is a member of the Rug Hooking Guild of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Rug Hooking Guild of Nova Scotia, a local rug hooking group called Heart and Hand Matters and the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador. She is also recognized as an artist with the provincial of Newfoundland Labrador Crafts of Character branding.
Plus, Flood likes to encourage others to try their hand at the craft and is organizing the second annual Woody Island Hooking Retreat scheduled for Sept. 30 – Oct. 2.
For more information visit Flood’s website at .

The Charter Link’s-work-on-display-at-international-venue/1

1 comment:

  1. beautiful story, beautiful rug hooking, thanks for sharing this,


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