Mary Tooley Parker
Mary Tooley Parker makes textile art using a time-intensive, historic rug making technique. There are no electric tools, and no rush to get it done. Parker is a true fiber artist having been enthralled with every fiber related making format since the age of 8 and is mostly self-taught.
She has no visual art education, rather trained as a dancer, and studied music for many years. Her basic process includes hand dyeing wool yardage, cutting it into strips, and pulling strips up
through a linen foundation using a primitive, wood handled hook. She also spins yarn to be used in the work. This slow making allows her time to adjust, revise, and enjoy the making. Her use of additional non-traditional materials creates a densely textured but still 2-dimensional work that draws the viewer in to both examine the fiber materials and engage with the innate warmth and familiarity of them. Her work offers a clear evocation of people, places and things that resonate deeply with others; experiences. Though using a traditional, folk art medium, Parker's tableaus, vivid colors, humor, detail, and wide use of new and exotic fibers give rug hooking a contemporary aesthetic and lifts her rugs off the floor to be viewed as art. Parker's work has been exhibited internationally including New York, London, and Denmark and is held in public and private collections.