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Yarn Bombing

Maddy Costa in The Guardian reports on more yarn bombing in London. Her article, “Knit and purl your own installation” advances the argument that yarn bombing takes knitting from craft into art. The surrealist artist Dorathea Tanning already made the move from craft to art installation in her late career knitted fabric installations. Her partially knitted installation in the Pompidou Centre is a truly surreal vision of people being absorbed into the fabric.

Yarn bombing knitted butterfly in Brunswick

I have seen the odd piece of yarn bombing on the streets of Brunswick and Fitzroy in the last year. In order to learn more about Melbourne’s yarn bombing I have been exchanging emails with Yarn Wrap. I saw here shopping trolley at the Sweet Streets exhibition at the Yarra Sculpture Gallery. After the exhibition she ‘gifted’ the shopping trolley to Knit and Purl in Dandendong whose owner, Freda loves yarn bombing.

On the streets Yarn Wrap tags ugly objects urban objects, like the sign poles, with colorful wool. She comes from a family of crafters and creators and has knitted all her life. Then two years ago she saw an American documentary by Fathye Levine called Handmade Nation which shows lots of indie craft makers. She was “blown away by the Knitta crews and the footage of them tagging poles in the middle of the night. I had seen there work on the net and started to create my own pieces and did a few tags around Melbourne.”

Yarn bombing occurs at irregular intervals in Melbourne’s street art scene often connected to festivals like Sweet Streets or the Big West Festival.  Sweet Streets wanted to have more yarn bombing in the festival – many festivals want to have yarn bombing, it must be the most media and local government friendly forms of street art to have hit the streets. There isn’t a crew (or should that be “knitting circle”) of yarn bombers in Melbourne. Yarn Wrap and I both want to know where are yarn bombers in Melbourne.

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About Mark Holsworth

Writer, independent researcher and artist, Mark Holsworth is the author of the book Sculptures of Melbourne. View all posts by Mark Holsworth

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