We were having a good time yarnbombing The North Berkeley Library last Friday , getting ready for their grand reopening. We had 4 glass blowing inspired knit tags and they really looked good against the new rosy tile. Lots of locals were stopping and taking pictures and thanking us. I love libraries so much and have yarnbombed many , many of them. The librarians had been pleased.
I was a little perturbed too though , the maintenance man had come by and said ‘ They will make me cut those off for sure ! I didn’t believe him- I’d done this all over Berkeley and Oakland and everyone had always liked them .Besides -what was I going to do , be scared and just go home ?
Saturday morning I wanted to take more picture before the opening so we drove by. The whole installation had been totally removed . I felt punched . We noticed 2 woman talking on the steps so I went over . ” Hi- I put up a knitting installation for the opening -” I started to say .
“Yes ! ” said the librarian . ‘ We took that right down ! This is the opening, people are coming to see the construction . You shouldn’t have done that ! You should have asked for permission ! You shouldn’t do anything here with out asking permission ! Don’t ever do anything here again in the future unless we ask you ! ‘ And she turned and walked away .
I was so startled. No one has ever yelled at me for making them a yarnbomb. Even policemen have always been very nice.
The other woman was smiling at me kindly .”We have it inside ” she told me and went and got it . As she handed it to me she said ” We were very careful with it .
I looked in the bag and the pieces were flawless. That was something.
I was truly stunned . I thought about this all day and was alternatively discouraged , mad , hurt and confused .Wasn’t the whole point of street art that you don’t ask permission ? That the artist can interact with streets and cities and people on the street freely and immediately ?
Aren’t libraries for the whole community ? Don’t they belong to us all ? Should only one person decide everything ?
I woke up on Sunday with that feeling that something bad had happened and my mind started to churn .
I thought ” OK , you have to get past this . Find some good thoughts ! ‘
I tried – You didn’t do anything wrong . No help there
You should stop doing graffiti . nope.
Then I thought ” This is yarnbombing ! You don’t ask permission for yarnbombing -you don’t have to get any one’s permission to do what you want to do !
That was it – I was ready to jump up and live to fight another day.
Just another yarnbombing story !
“Thank you Berkeleyside for the article here