Mary Tooley Parker is a textile maker using fiber as paint. The technique that forms the basis of Parker's work is the one indigenous American folk art of hooking “rugs.” Largely self-taught, her hooked artwork focuses on realistic interpretations of people and nature, drawn from memories, dreams, or reality. Incorporated in her work are new and recycled wool, cotton, silk, fleece, yarn, roving, and metallic fibers. She uses natural and synthetic dyes to create colors as needed. Working in this "simple" medium affords Parker a strong connection not only to the fibers running through her fingertips, but also to the women who used this medium and other fiber mediums to express themselves in earlier times. Using this form as a creative expression of Parker's 21st century experience carries this tradition into the contemporary cultural world by taking these rugs off the floor to be viewed as art.
Parker's work has been exhibited in galleries in Manhattan and Brooklyn, New York, and at venues throughout the Northeast including the Hammond Museum and the Katonah Museum of Art.
Courtesy of the Artist