Cuddle up to an exhibition of hooked rugs

Margaret Forsey’s art has been described as fun, colouful, folky, cheerful, feminist, cozy and fuzzy. Her work as an artist has led her from studies at NASCAD, to artist in residence at the Craft Council of Newfoundland Clay Studio in St. John’s, Newfoundland, then at the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture in Dawson City, Yukon, and back East to work, live, and teach art in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.

The first pieces in her current series, which have been inspired by the folk art traditions in Newfoundland and by her work as a doula and caregiver to children, will be debuted at the Designer Cafe in Kentville this autumn. These works celebrate pregnancy, birthing, breastfeeding, and baby rearing as a series of hooked rugs created from soft, colourful, highly textured reclaimed materials. In her artist statement Margaret expresses her reasons for making hooked rugs; “I come from Newfoundland, where there is a rich tradition of rug hooking. When I create a hooked rug, I feel connected to generations of Newfoundland women who came before me. I love this feeling. I also love that I can make a rug using tools that are not very different from the ones my ancestors would have used- a simple wooden frame and a metal hook.” By exploring the positive impressions of maternity and paternity Margaret’s intention is to inspire families (as well as those people who have not yet started their families) to consciously choose to give birth and to parent in ways that feel healthy, safe, and comfortable to them. “I like soft, fluffy, cuddly things. I want to put more soft, fluffy, cuddly things into the world.”

The exhibition at the Designer Cafe (373 Main St, Kentville) will run from November 6th through December 2nd. Margaret will be at the cafe on November 13th and 20th (Saturdays), from 1pm to 4 pm to demonstrate how she makes her rugs. Her art can also be viewed and purchased through the Seeds Gallery in Halifax, her website www.margaretforsey.com, or by contacting her at magdalene@rockstarmail.com.

Devin Folks