Traditional North East skills showcased by community project

Members of Horden's Hole in the Wall group help mima retail manager Lindsey Richardson display their mats in the mima shop.
Members of Horden's Hole in the Wall group help mima retail manager Lindsey Richardson display their mats in the mima shop.
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A traditional craft is being showcased in a modern art gallery as people get the chance to buy their own handmade mat.

Horden’s Hole in the Wall team is selling its clippy rugs at the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (mima) shop.

It feels wonderful to have our craft and creativity appreciated by other people.

Marguerite Hales

It comes as the result of a partnership organised by East Durham Creates, which works to boost the chance of people from the area to get involved in arts and culture.

Nikki Locke, head of East Durham Creates, said: “We want to celebrate the creativity and talent which we have right here in East Durham.

“These incredible hand-crafted mats showcase a traditional skill which has been used here in the North East for many years and which has been passed down through the generations, and we hope that visitors to mima will want to take a piece of this craft home with them.”

Members of the group meet weekly at Horden Youth and Community Centre to make mats, sometimes known as ‘hooky’, ‘proggy’ or ‘raggy’ mats, from old clothing and hessian.

Marguerite Hales is among the six members who have mats on sale.

She said: “We feel proud and satisfied to see our mats for sale at mima.

“It feels wonderful to have our craft and creativity appreciated by other people.”

Each mat which is sold is accompanied by information about its maker and the inspiration behind the design.

Retail Manager Lindsey Richardson added: “The mats that the Hole in the Wall group have made are creative and very appealing.

“They work perfectly with other hand-made, unique items that we stock, and connect well with our local heritage.”