“Getting to Know You”

ISSN 2007-001X  14th August, 2017

This image was included in a recent Guild Facebook post  describing a visit by the Narrawilly Proggy Rugmakers, from Milton, to the Mongarlowe Fibre Group  of the Braidwood district in New South Wales.

Over morning tea at Maggie Hickey’s Studio and lunch at Pauline Webber’s residence, a converted Mill, both groups enjoyed a day swapping ideas and stories.

A comment on the Facebook post requested an interview with the textile artist featured, Maggie Hickey and Gail Nichols.

In answer to my questions, here is what Maggie had to say ……….

If a gallery called you, how would you describe your work?

Mainly textiles (hooked rag rugs but I’ve also done some 3D metalwork using beer cans. Most of the materials I use are recycled. Some of my work is political, some just for fun.

For a mask exhibition Maggie used “Fosters” beer green cans to create the Green Man mask.

What captures your imagination about a particular technique or approach to your work?

I generally respond to a brief – either from a client or a theme for an exhibition and try to invest originality into the work – to put a new or amusing slant on it. I don’t take myself too seriously!

A special creation – Maggie made this for her grandson’s room. She said – he’s into giraffes!

Who – or what – influenced your early work? Has your later work been influenced by the same person/style/technique?

Miriam Miller taught me the skill of rag rug making. I liked her approach to use of colour and design . I have a Batchelor of Visual Art and majored in glassmaking so colour and form are important to me. I enjoy a wide variety of art forms but the Australian Modernists and American Pop Art are favourites.

Designed & hooked by Maggie Hickey, NSW, Australia. A tribute to Australian Modernist Grace Crowley.

Are you pleased with your artistic progress? What boundaries or limitations do you find are the hardest to push?

I’d like to do more and better in the area of 3D work. If I were 30 or even 20 years younger I would tackle welding and get into a lot more metalwork but I also like the challenge of sculptural textiles.

A “large” rug in progress by Maggie Hickey.

Where do you see your work in 1 – 2 – 5 years? In other words, where do you see yourself going with your current approach and technique?

See the answer above 🙂   At 70 years of age I suspect my work might not evolve beyond the expressions of ideas via the techniques I’m familiar with. But you never know…

Maggie mentioned “liking the challenge of sculptural textiles” hopefully we’ll see an entry from her in the recently launched Challenge “Re-imagined“.  She also mentioned Miriam Miller taught her the skill of rag rug making.   For those of you who know Miriam and know she’s been under medical treatment I just want to tell you that her operation last Friday was a success. Not sure when she’s due to go home but Miriam says she’s feeling good.

Happy Hooking to all – Jo Franco; Editor





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