Five Island Art Gallery, Tors Cove, Newfoundland

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Hooking Our Lives

Hooking Our Lives is a project by women about women.

It about teaching, learning, remembering and celebrating .... in the company of women. It is about learning a craft that has strong cultural roots throughout our province. It is about recycling old fabrics and let them present ordinary women doing extraordinary things.

This project began with the idea of celebrating a dearly loved mentor and advocate Sister Marie Ryan. Marie was a well known educator, counsellor, and feminist – an ordinary woman who did extraordinary things.

Frances Ennis gathered women together to explore the idea of hooking rugs to represent the inspiration, challenges, and recollections in our lives as women living in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The majority of the women who attended the initial meeting had never held a “hook”, never thought of themselves as textile artists, and had not dreamed of engaging in the age old art of rug hooking as a method of depicting the strengths and struggles of women and women’s inspirations.

The Hooking Our Lives project began on October 22, 2008 in St. John’s when women met to share ideas for rugs and explored possibilities for the overall project. In the ensuing weeks women have been meeting twice weekly and to date, January 2009, over 20 individual creations are in the process of being hooked.

Mentoring and guidance is provided by Frances Ennis and Maxine Ennis, experienced rug hookers, and Sheila Coultas, artist. Participants are working toward a timeline of March 3, 2009 -March 28 - 2009 starting at the beginning of International Women’s week. This is a time when women throughout Newfoundland and Labrador, across Canada, and around the world celebrate the accomplishments of women and pause to acknowledge the continuing struggle for peace, equality, and justice and inclusion for women and girls.