Yarnbombing and the Return of the San Jose Museum

6 Oct

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A few years ago I went down to The San Jose Museum of Art and put up this yarnbomb outside. I was doing a series of yarnbombings of museums. I had found that museums were interested in questions like ” Where should art be shown and does street art give the viewer a particular and vivid experience of art ? ” People are in the mood to see art when they set off to go to a museum and so a piece of urban knitting can be a cheerful and provocative preliminary to the experience.

 

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‘Most Secret Butterfly ” by Tam Van Tran

After a couple of years of yarnbombing purely for my own pleasure and amusement I began approaching museums to yarnbomb on commission. I did several museum installations in this way, planning out what I would like to do and then approaching the museums with my ideas. I came to believe that I could do anything if I had a really organized plan, a timeline , good pictures and a lot of measuring.

3 months ago The San Jose Museum approached me , told me that they had been following my work and invited me to participate in a show called ” Momentum “. The idea for the show was to ask artists to choose a piece from their permanent  collection . The artist would then create either a response or and Intervention. My understanding is that the kind of yarnbombing I do where I interact with buildings or street fixtures is considered an intervention.

I looked through pictures of many beautiful pieces from the museum’s collection. I found a sculptural painting called ‘Most Secret Butterfly ‘ by a Vietnamese artist Tam Van Tran. The work made me feel very excited and very calm and focused. I chose it as my piece.

Much of this piece is heavily encrusted with staples. I was inspired to uses staples and a staple gun as a way to manipulate my felt into folds and ruffles. I found a cardboard tube that is used to form concrete.  Using the staple gun and the cardboard tube I was able to make the felt free stand with out having to use  a pillar from a building. Studying  ” Most Secret Butterfly ” was like being able to study with Tam Van Tran.

 

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It was slightly intimidating to make this piece for a museum. I tore it apart 5 times. I learned a great deal about staples. When I brought the piece to The San Jose Museum I couldn’t find the loading dock so I brought it through the front door myself and carried it up to the gallery. The pedestal was in front of “Most Secret Butterfly ” the art  was unexpectedly huge. I put the piece on the pedestal. It seemed to be looking back at it’s inspiration.

I named it “Everything” Changed “

5 Responses to “Yarnbombing and the Return of the San Jose Museum”

  1. fiberassociations October 6, 2014 at 1:44 pm #

    How very cool. How long will it be there?

    • streetcolor October 7, 2014 at 8:56 am #

      The show will be up until Feb I think

  2. Ally October 6, 2014 at 3:48 pm #

    This reminds me of the DeYoung, how they have that flower exhibit every year. Really neat — I’ll have to check it out!

  3. David October 7, 2014 at 8:38 am #

    Another small galaxy to be surprised by and grateful for.

  4. Lisa October 12, 2014 at 9:17 am #

    Hi! My friends and I were so happy to meet you while you were putting up your work on the ice skating fence at SJMA! I’m one of the docents at the museum and reading this blog is so helpful for sharing the “call and response” between you and Van Tran with the visitors. Best wishes! Lisa

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