The Hook and I Exhibition, Etobicoke Rugcrafters

September 26 to October 15, 2023

Location: Parkview Gallery

Presented by: Etobicoke Rugcrafters

Welcome to the Hook and I show, the annual display of works by the Etobicoke Rugcrafters, a Resident Group of Neilson Park Creative Centre. While viewing the show, you’ll notice the variety of rughooking styles and the wide ranging use of colour and textures in the hooked pieces. Many of the rugs are a world away from the rugs originally designed and hooked by our grandmothers to add warmth and cheer to the floors of their homes.

Although some of the rugs will be destined for use on floors (and can last up to 100 years), many are meant to be works of art to be enjoyed or to reflect family stories or personal journeys.  For those of you unfamiliar with rughooking, it is usually done by pulling loops of cut wool through burlap or linen.  While the use of cut wool fabric is still used by many, alternative fibres and yarn (especially for punch hooking) are used. Some of these include: recycled fabrics, t-shirts, fleece or roving, sari silk,  nylon stockings and just about anything you might want to try. As you can see the new world of Rughooking is full of wonderful colour and a variety of textures.

Hooked rug designs are often described in styles. The most simplistic are usually called Primitive. Some other design styles or categories would be: Landscape, Geometric, Oriental, 3 Dimensional, Portrait and Pictorial. As you tour through the show, you’ll see examples of different styles and some that defy being categorized.

Along with rugs that have been rughooked and punchhooked by our members during the last few years and through Covid, there are also rugs and mats in one specific grouping. Each year our members are issued a challenge for the show. These are all grouped together on the east wall. Look for their different interpretations as you go through the show.

In honour of one of our late but longest active members and mentor to many, Shirley Kirby we established the “Shirley Award” for her work and dedication to both Etobicoke Rugcrafters and Neilson Park Creative Centre. We encourage you to take a ballot from the table by the door and vote for your favourite rug.

The joys of rughooking as a resident group at Neilson are inspiration from the wonderful variety of works produced by our members, the camaraderie and  support of other hookers and the adventure you take when you begin a rug. We are especially fortunate to have several certified rughooking teachers in our group who are always willing to help, provide advice and share techniques. Etobicoke Rugcrafters welcome all to join us and discover this colourful fibre art. We love to welcome beginners and the experienced and will help anyone get started on their rughooking journey.