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Yarnbombing , Giant Plastic Slugs and Rubber Duckies

25 Oct

These enormous immovable slug sculptures are called ” Slowslugs  ” and are made of steel , netting and 40 ,000 recycled plastic bags . They were made for the Accroche Coers Festival in Angers, France and they were up for 10 days , Sept 7 to 17 , 2012 . The artist is Dutch street artist Floretijin Hofmann .

The slugs are placed so that they appear to be crawling slowly up the hills of Angers toward the towns’ big Catholic church . They are meant to symbolize mortality , religion , natural decay and the slow suffocation of commercial society .

Ok .  This image of these gigantic plastic bag slugs appeared suddenly , mysteriously and annoyingly with out any information on Facebook and it is my holy quest to document these sort of things .  I thought it was an astonishing sculpture , heavy and ponderous and also light , silly , childish and scary . The artist  Florentijin Hofman has made many of these cheerful , goofy and overwhelming outdoor animal installations – the most well known is probably  ” Rubber Duck ” in Osaka harbor ,  Japan in 2009 .

Hofman and his interns work for months on his outdoor sculptures and they are often up for only a few days . He tells his interns that in the end they will only remember the completed art and the time of work will fade out of mind .

His motto is  ”  Work Big ! “

He also likes to use local materials and objects that are very familiar and normal to the viewer like the flip flops he used to make ” Fat Monkey ”  for the Pixelshow Conference in Sao Paulo in 2012 . The flip flops are his reference to pixels .

Work on this scale with such confidence ,  playfulness and swagger  gives a real rush of energy to create . It  lets us see yarnbombing street art in the context of other art made to be outside , made to be  interacting with people unexpectedly , art made to be  put up for a short time  and then  taken down . { My favorite story about people interacting with his art unexpectedly was that a woman in Osaka stopped to take a picture of ‘ Rubber Duck ” and her car drove into the harbor . }

This is a quote of Florentijin Hofman that is interesting :

” That’s how my work comes full circle: you change a public space by adding something new, then you change it back again by taking it out which is when you start to miss it. It really changes how people perceive public space. I can tell you countless stories of activists collecting signatures to keep the artwork in place, but like I said, missing it is part of the concept! “

More here and here

Yarnbombing – 65 Yarnbombed Trees Ruttopuisto Park , Helsinki , Finland

29 Sep IMG_9976

There were 65 yarnbombed trees in this unprecedented and unparalleled yarnbombing action called Knit n ‘ Tag  in Ruttopuisto Park , Helsinki , Finland .  Aug 25 until Sept 27 2012 .

3  Great Things About This

1 This yarnboming of Ruttopuisto park was organized by The Youth Department of Helsinki part of The World Design Capitol 2012 programs . Ruttopuisto Park is also called ” Old Church Park “and ”  Plague Park . “

2 . The Youth Department took pictures of all the trees in the park and invited any one in Finland to pick a  tree and cover it . You could make anything you wanted , no jurying , everyone was welcome . If you couldn’t make a whole tree you could just send a little piece of knitting and it would get sewn into something bigger . The Exhibition was named Knit n ‘ Tag .

3 . The day of the installation there was a huge party , 4000 people came , there was music , food and contests. For weeks after ward people flocked the park to stroll around all the yarnbombed the  trees and take pictures .

This is an unimaginable amount of knitting  , crocheting and sparkling creativity to make 65 yarnbombed trees . 

Lets look at what it took just to make one tree by Palone Design Concepts Store .

The Tree of Dreams

Molla Mills , one of the designers at Paloni ,  made the directions for a crocheted chain . 4 workshops were set up to make chain and tens of crocheters aged 4 to 82 obsessively crocheted chain .  Paloni also decided to include little signs that described peoples’ dreams for the new City Library . The finished chain was 130 meters , roughly 650 meters of crocheting .

Their message was  ” textile graffiti brings joy , brings joy and cures our handicraft trauma . “

so that’s 2 of the 65 trees. more here .

Here are a few more of the yarnbombed trees from this lavish art exhibition.

these beautiful pictures are by Susanna . her blog is here

So I have 3 things to say about this

a. Part of what is great about yarnbombing is it includes everyone , anyone can do it anytime , children , new knitters , serious artist, lone yarnbombers , youth groups , old age homes , anyone who wants to . This is an amazing terrific exhibition and it had no jury .

b. The Art World is so compressed , only a few people can get to be artists . What if everyone was welcomed to be an artist ? What if woman’s work was considered  as something worth looking at ? Well covering a whole park of trees with textiles –  it  lets you look .

c. I’ve always been excited to find one yarnbombed tree  . 65 trees !  I had to look at a few and then go take some deep breaths . I can’t grasp how many people enjoyed getting to yarnbomb.

As well as the 65 trees Knit n’ Tag  also yarnbombed this lovely gold plastic cow.

 

Yarnbombing After A Landslide – Brienno , Lake Como , Italy

20 Sep

The small Italian town of Brienno , Lake Como was covered with knitting and crocheting  July 7 2012 exactly one year after the town suffered a massive and lethal landslide .

three great things about this

1 . In July 2011 endless rains caused a landslide that destroyed much of the center of Brienno . In April 2011 a textile artist called Eletta handmade read about yarnbombing in Aquila , Italy. The town of Aquila Italy was devastated in an enormous earthquake and knitters and crocheters from all over the world sent knitting to wrap around the ruined building , plazas and stairs .  Eletta  handmade decided to organize another global knitting effort to wrap around the wreckage of Brienno .

2. Appeals for knitting and crocheting went all over Italy and hundreds of pieces were made and sent including many by a woman who is 100 years old and crippled with arthritis { Her name is Nonna Rina }. 650 crocheted circles were made by the group ‘ Social Crochet ” to make a Tree Of Life “

3 .  The yarnbombing was to be installed on the one year anniversary of the landslide – July 2012 . The night before the installation torrents of rain fell threatening another landslide . On the morning of July 7 2012 the rain stopped and town was yarnbombed . The mayor of the town helped yarnbomb .

What does this mean ? What good does it do to cover a town in knitting and crocheting after it has been destroyed by an earthquake or a landslide ?  This is a good question .

When a baby is born we knit the baby sweaters .

When a woman has cancer we knit her hats and shawls .

When someone is sad we wrap them up in a soft blanket and pat them .

This is a very old and kind impulse to bring softness , kindness , color and the work of our hands to a suffering situation .  And to bring the same things to celebrate life .

People will make art in the worst circumstances and will keep looking towards life and beauty . Art doesn’t have to be only harsh and aggressive – it can also be tender and reassuring .

And – the knitting looks wonderful and exhilarating against the ruins . This would have been a wonder to see .

more about the yarnbombing here

yarnbombing and The ” Assault on Zaragoza ” Spain

17 Sep

This is # 8 Liberty Street in the old quarter of Zaragoza  , Spain – yarnbombed on Thursday Sept 13 by 100 woman .
3 great Things About This

1 . This yarnbombing was one of 10 interventions done all over Zaragoza through ”  The Assault Festival of Street Art ” .  This was done with the cooperation of the city of Zaragoza who contributed 45,000 euros .

Funding ! Cooperation !  Recognition of yarnbombing as legitimate street art !  All very new and exciting.

2 . This is a huge yarnbombing . There are more than a thousand 20 x 20 squares. The wall of knitting and crocheting is 50 square meters. 1oo woman knit for almost 6 months to make this .

It was made only by woman .

There a re a number of  ” Urban Knitting   ” guerrilla yarnbombing groups in Spain in the cities of Zaragoza , Bilboa , Castellar and others and they often collaborate as they did for this yarnbombing .

3 .  The ministry of culture for Zaragoza described the intention of this yarnbombing was to build a more positive city through spontaneous art and color .

What does this mean that larger and larger groups of mostly woman are covering buses , entire buildings , entire towns with knitting and crocheting ? That this is being welcomed into the tough mostly male world of street art ? Welcomed by huge art festivals ?

Joy , passion , freedom and ambition are thrilling through these woman artists and they are making a world .

Montse Palacian said that the colors of this knitted installation had a particular meaning -

the light rich colors are to express joy and

the dark heavy colors are to express the fears and frustrations we all have .

I am very happy to hear yarnbombers start to talk about the power of their work  and it’s meaning . Yarnbombing is fun but it’s not trivial .

This part of the city  Zaragoza must be so intensely energized by all this knitting , time , effort , feeling and color.  It’s a new kind of house – the beautifully dressed up  house . Like making clothes for dolls , robes for statues of saints ,  ritual clothes for festivals . This is the power and protection that is put into a handmade object through a lot of time , concentration and devotion.

The textile becomes a spirit object.

Very  ,very interesting .

more about this here

all photos by Urban Knitting Zaragoza .

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yarnbombing – Art , Cities , Bookstores and Playing

11 Sep

Luke Haynes – textile artist and quiltmaker  – yarnbombed this house / storefront on Capitol Hill in Seattle , Washington on Sat .  Sept 25 with a group of 17 yarnbombers . The yarnbombing was to prepare for the opening of bookstore .

3 Great Things About This

1 . This building is going to be the space for a new bookstore – ” Ada’s Technical Books ” .  The owner Danielle Hultonsaid contacted Luke Haynes and asked him to make an art installation to herald the immanent coming of the bookstore .  She told him to do what ever he wanted . He decided to do a communal yarnbomb .

2 . Luke Haynes solicited yarnbombers to help him on Facebook .  He also asked people passing by . That’s the part I like – I’m thinking of standing around on the street and asking people going by if they want to yarnbomb .

3 . The idea was that the yarnbombing would draw Seattle neighbors over to contemplate the house and the knitting and that would tune them into the feeling that something warm and wonderful was coming .  Luke Haynes also wanted this to be art made by the people of Seattle and not just by one singular artist .

Creative Secret ;  This yarnbomb was made by open invitation to anyone who wanted to knit or crochet or sew – anyone could work – but the complete idea was held in the mind of the artist Luke Haynes .  So many people love to make art and to work with a group . This can happen very successfully if one person steadily holds the idea and thoughtfully arranges all  the varying  elements .
Aesthetics :  The entire store was yarnbombed – inside and out with knitting , crocheting and – most unusually – quilts . The effect is compelling , charming and suffocating . It has a quality of being boarded up and protected , comforted after being abandoned . The words  ‘Hello World  ” are embroidered on the front of the house which is what a wordpress blog says when you first start one – this yarnbombing is the beginning of communication by the bookstore .

Some of the knitting and crocheting was made new for this installation and some of it was from Luke Haynes storehouse . He’s known with his art for covering the inside of a house with used clothes as part of ” Mad House ” art project .

This installation on Capitol Hill takes yarnbombing a little further along from just ‘ How fun ! ” to a comment on our desire to acquire more clothes , quilts , afghans , textiles , stuff – and our desire to give it all away .

More on Luke Haynes here

More On Ada’s Bookstore yarnbombing here

Yarnbombing And Giant Octopus

4 Sep

This giant octopus – 4 meters around – is called ‘ 20,00 Bags Under The Sea  ” and was made by the Australian artist Jacq Chorlton in 2010

3 Great Things About This

1. The octopus is made entirely of woven recycled plastic bags.

2 .It was shown in a sculpture show on the beach – The Rockingham Castaway Sculpture Awards in Rockingham , Australia .

3. It won ” The People’s Choice Award ” .

Creative secret ;

Jacq Chorlton is a production artist who owns Funkydory Art , she makes recycled clocks . She uses the yearly sculpture show as a way to organize and inspire herself to make big ambitious sculptures . We need goals and time devices to help us set aside regular time to make something big and expressive , we can’t just cram it in to everyday life with out some help .

Aesthetics ;
This is a radiant piece by any measure , the color s , the stripes , the button tentacles are delightful . The plastic on the beach is a beautiful and pointed reference to the bad impact plastic bags have on our marine life .

Plastic bags are such a curse and so annoyingly useful and make us all feel so guilty . It’s nice to have a rest from that and just enjoy Jacq Chorlton’s joyful art making .

more here http://www.facebook.com/FunkydoryArt

Yarnbombing And Protesting

22 Jul

These tires were wrapped in fabric and put across a road by  in Beirut , Lebanon by Bokja Design July 3 2012 as a protest against tire burning .

3 Great Things About This

1.Tires are being burned frequently in Beirut as protest against power outages , illegal shootings and police actions. The burning tires are exceptionally toxic and create heavy clouds of dark harsh smelling smoke . These tires were wrapped in beautiful vintage fabrics and placed across a road in Saifi Village as a beautiful and clear protest against the destruction of Lebanon’s air. The tires were later taken to the airport and stacked in the entrance . This protest has received tremendous support from people in Lebanon .

2. Two people stood next to the tires holding a sign saying ” We are Tyred .”

3. Bokja design was started by 2 Lebanese woman – Hoda Baroudi and Maria Hibri . Their wonderful design collection is made from salvaged furniture that they cover with a huge array of precious patterned fabrics . The tires look like their furniture .

Creative Secret ; Making beautiful art as a form of protest instead of using anger and destruction.

Art transforming an ordinary banal object into something magical , historical and dreamlike .

Making art in terrible circumstances gives the artist true power.

Aesthetics ; If these tires had been wrapped in these fantastic fabric just to make a sculpture it would have been a beautiful object . The round shapes are centering and the contrast of fine fabric and hard rubber is  tactile , pleasing and disturbing . Seeing them outside stacked is transfixing  , nervewracking and thrilling .

more here

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