This wonderful, detailed rug, XVI The Tower, was designed and hooked by Michele Micarelli, as part of a major group hooking project, Exploring the Tarot: 23 Artists Hook the Major Arcana. Presented and organized by Loretta Scena and Michele Micarelli, 23 very fine rughookers each chose one of the major tarot cards to interpret.
The tarot cards have existed since the 1400s (first in Northern Italy) as hand-painted pictogram cards used for card games. The pictures on them have been, through time, interpreted in many ways, but always with variations on the same basic symbols. During the 18th century, tarot started to be used for divination, probably because of the power of the cards’ symbolism.
And in March, 1933, the famous psychotherapist Carl Jung commented at length about the tarot cards, and the powerful achetypal images they present: “They are psychological images, symbols with which one plays, as the unconscious seems to play with its contents.”
Before we look at another of the hooked rugs, let’s think a little about archetypes. Corrine Kenner, writing in The Llewellyn Journal, writes, “An archetype is a primal pattern of thought — inborn, instinctive, and imprinted on every human’s subconscious mind. Carl Jung, the psychotherapist, was the first person to write on the theory of archetypes. He studied dreams, myths, and legends, and concluded that we’re all born with an innate ability to understand archetypes. In fact, he said, we’re all pre-programmed to look for archetypes in our everyday lives, because they serve as a framework for our understanding of the world. Jung’s descriptions of commonly recognized archetypes include the hero, the maiden, and the wise old man. Other archetypes include the mother, which typifies a nurturing, emotional parent; the father, a physical, protective parent; the trickster, or rebel; and the shadow, the hidden, antisocial dark side of human nature.”
So the tarot deck was a wonderful symbol-rich project for a group of talented rughookers to take on, and make their own. Here is III The Empress, designed and hooked by Loretta Scena:
Loretta writes about her design of The Empress: “Once each hooker had their card number, the fun began…Choosing your design. I had a few other designs in mind before I settled on the one I hooked. The Empress is almost always depicted as a woman sitting on cushions with a large flowing dress, insinuating that she is very much pregnant. She is the mother of our earth and all that lives and grows on it. Rather than hook a pregnant woman, I chose to hook the empress as a baby ready to be born. I felt that we can all relate to the nurturing, abundance, and creativity which the empress represents. And as women and mothers, aren’t we all empresses? I think so.
I hope you get a chance to come and see the show. The rugs are truly wonderful as are the artists that hooked them. Some of the other participants include: Stephanie Krauss, Mariah Krauss, Wanda Kerr, Jen Lavoie, Liz Alpert Fay, Jule Marie Smith, Rae Harrell, Lisa Chaloner, Cyndy Duade and Linda Rae Coughlin.”
The exhibit will be on display from Dec. 5 through January 22. And this Saturday, there is a hook-in, in conjunction with the opening. Here are the details:
Exploring the Tarot 23 Artists Hook the Major Arcana.
Presented by Loretta Scena and Michele Micarelli.
All Souls Interfaith Gathering
291 Bostwick Farm Rd.
Shelburne, Vermont 05482
Opening Celebration 4:30-7 pm on December 4th 2015. This exhibit will run through January 22, 2016.
Hook-in. Saturday December 5, $10 admission, and bring a snack to share!
To Register for the hook-in, email Loretta – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many thanks to Loretta and Michele, for sharing this preview of the exhibit here, and to all the rughookers who participated – it is going to be an amazing exhibit of hooked rugs! And I believe the exhibit will tour around to various places (I think I heard the Sauder Village show and Green Mountain Guild’s October show mentioned), so even if you can’t make it to northern Vermont, you may be able to see these rugs on their travels.