Dee Pinnock

Woman of Colors

By: Story and Photography by Nadine Flagel

Solidarity, 57" x 10", #3-, 4-, 6-, and 8-cut recycled wool, with some hand-dyed wool and fancy fibers on burlap. Designed and hooked by Deirdre Pinnock, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 2016.

Readers who have been involved with unions are probably familiar with one of their most important abstractions: solidarity. Dee has worked as a shop steward and a health and safety representative. Such work provided a platform for advocating for others and bringing people together: “Once I learned that word ‘solidarity,’ I ran with it.” In a time and place fraught with divisiveness, this rug has a positive message of creating unity and common movement. The spectrum of colors symbolizes more than simply racial and ethnic diversity; it suggests diversity of gender identification and sexual orientation, age, class, creed, place of origin, ability, political alignment. The symbolism is not merely superficial but inherent in the technique, as these rugs utilize many different fibers.

Deirdre Pinnock was born in England but raised in Toronto, where she studied for a fashion arts degree.

She has lived on Canada’s west coast for 20 years. In 1999 she enrolled in a wide-cut rug hooking class with Michelle Sirois-Silver, a noted textile artist in Vancouver. While Dee often takes classes to meet people, rug hooking resonated deeply: “It felt like I needed to be a part of it. It wasn’t something that needed to be precise. You can pull things out, put pieces in. It allowed me to work with my errors.”

Dee eventually joined Freda Jackson’s Gone Hooking group of 65 rug hookers. The social element has tremendous appeal. “People say ‘join a class.’ Well, I joined a class. I joined a community.” At least once a month she joins others to rug hook, and she often travels to local workshops and retreats.


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