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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

yarn bombing

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I've never seen a yarn bombing ........ well, not until I visited Salt Spring Island this weekend on a knitting retreat.

Some amazingly creative knitters, under the cover of darkness no doubt, had decorated a planter in the main square with beautiful knitted tulips and gnomes. A notice ina nearby (decorated) tree informed onlookers of what they were seeing and reassured them that the "offending" graffiti would be removed soon.

We were told about it while shopping for supplies in the amazing Stitches Quilt Shop and trotted down the road for a peek. We weren't disappointed.

Yarn bombing aka knit graffiti has a history rooted in slow activism and a presence since 2005 (possibly earlier too). Knitting itself has been used as a tool to point out how fast-paced life is and that a simple act of handcrafting can instil some peace into the day. It's also a great feminist tool to illustrate how productive and creative women are in their everyday moments.

Although Germain Greer was dismissive of women's textile art (linked here) working with fibre is often an easy and portable craft to carry around during daily life. Readers of portable crafting for the obsessed will know that since discovering circular knitting needles I am rarely without a sock or scarf or whatever when out and about.

Only now I know that I'm being an activist!


7 comments:

Brass Monkey Designs said...

THAT is really cool! You kind of gave me an idea for something really neat and uplifting....I'll send you a link when I write about it.

ebbandflo said...

oh yes! i'm all ears/eyes or whatever the internet equivalent is!

JafaBrit's Art said...

I think Germaine Greer's attitude towards fiber arts is old fashioned and out of touch. I think women using crafts to express themselves is a powerful tool, and whether the work itself has longevity is beside the point.
I am happy to be a older participant in this form of art/craftivism and I am very happy to see young women using yarn and other crafts as they see fit. We didn't need men telling us how to spend our time in the old days and we certainly don't need other women telling us how to either, or what we should or shouldn't do regarding arts and crafts.
sorry had to vent
take care
corrine aka jafabrit

ebbandflo said...

vent away, and no apology needed!
i'm in agreement. i think women are inherently more productive and creative with their spare time compared with men, and the very nature of their spare time does dictate what they can do. since child-rearing and domestic issues are traditionally 'women's work' having a portable art is a necessity. i think Greer got it wrong in focusing on the longevity of fibre/textiles arts for her complaint - longer lasting art is not neccessarily superior (vis. wooden totem poles in the Pacific North West) but might represent a more practical aspect of living. reading thru Greer's article again though does uncover a degree of support for female textile art not apparent at first sight so I'm not damning her completely!

JafaBrit's Art said...

I will have to reread the article aebandflo, perhaps she just has a way of stating things that come across contrary to what she actually means.

ebbandflo said...

i think the sensationalism of her opening remarks or whatever buried them. i re-read and re-read and then read some critiques of her critique and then re-read. comprehension was never my strong point at school

Beth - IndieNorth said...

That's Awesome! Thanks so much for this post...I love it!

 
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