The Art of Knitworks

Knitting and crochet are back in a big way. Whether it’s to make hipster jumpers or trendy accessories it seems like everyone has got their yarn out, and it’s not stopping there. Textiles are making their mark on art, large scale installations and street art.

In the 90s Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam, a Japanese artist, had a large crocheted art piece on display. Two children asked they could climb on the art, which looked like an enormous hammock. She nervously said yes and watched as the kids clambered on to it. Fortunately it held together and it gave MacAdam an idea to open a crochet playground! Check out the Playscapes blog to see some photos of the playgrounds now scattered around Japan.

Large-scale textile pieces have been popular for hundreds of years. Just think of King Henry VIII and you can probably conjure up images of grand rooms with intricate rugs and tapestries lining the walls.

At the other end of the size scale are things like Knit the City’s stitched stories which use tiny yarn characters set out in public places to tell a narrative.

And this year as part of National Science Week there was a ‘neural knitwork’ installation at Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & Arts Centre. The idea behind this one is that people knit or crochet neurons (brain cells) and they will all be combined into one sculpture of the cerebral cortex (that’s the part of your brain at the front that done all the clever thinking). Okay, so maybe that project won’t end up being teeny tiny but real life neurons certainly are. You can find out more about the project and how you can be involved here.

The knitted brain is from Sam Blackman and the playground is from Stephen Oung, both under a Creative Commons Licence.