An exciting exhibition celebrating the popular craft of rag rugging is on show at Coldstream Museum.
The exhibition showcases the work of Margaret Kenny whose rugs and wall-hangings are inspired by everyday life and surroundings. Her recent work has been inspired by the beach, the sea, and the changes in the seasons.
Her rag rugging is influenced by the exploration of tools, materials and techniques including the traditional techniques of ‘hooky’ and ‘proggy’. ‘Hooky’ is a technique using a hook to bring up loops of long strips of fabric to give a close looped pile. ‘Proggy’ is a simpler technique using a tool called a ‘progger’, which can be made by cutting off one leg of a dolly peg and sharpening the remaining leg to an even taper. As progging is worked with the back of the rug facing upwards, the tool is used to push down the strips of fabric as opposed to hooking upwards.
Following the tradition of rag rug-makers before her, Margaret uses recycled fabrics to produce her mats and wall-hangings. She likes that each piece of material has its own history, and that its history is being continued by becoming part of a mat or wall hanging.
Margaret sometimes incorporates stitching into the pieces. She says she uses all the right elements of traditional rag rug-making, but ‘not necessarily in the right order’.
Visitors to the exhibition will have a chance to meet the artist and be taught the traditions of rag rugging - with an innovative twist, of course.
Lisa Ireland, Museum and Gallery Assistant at Live Borders said, “Live Borders charity is very pleased to be exhibiting this wonderful collection of rag rugs and wall-hangings. Margaret Kenny’s work, which is based on historical traditions with a modern, innovative twist, will be an exciting addition to our 2019 programme.’
The exhibition runs until August 25 at Coldstream Museum. Free entry. Donations welcome.