Visual research with notes on knitting
In Figures 1-4 knitting is represented as a traditional and useful craft, or as a pleasant pastime and a hobby
But starting from Figure 5 there is a change of perspective and knitting takes on new meanings and is perceived differently: in Figure 5 a mom finds in knitting a way to express her feelings towards her son.
Figure 6 is an example of how huge knitting can make fashion and become trendy.
From Figure 7 onwards knitting is used as an art medium in its own right and can be used in sculptures, installations or performances.
Ivano Vitali is an Italian sculptor and performer who recycles newspapers and magazines into yarns
Figures 8 and 9 show knit samples by Lois Albinson, a textile artist and fashion knitwear designer
Figure 10 and 11 show examples of the practice of Yarn Bombing or Guerrilla Knitting, which is ‘a type of graffiti or street art that employs colourful displays of knitted or crocheted yarn or fibre rather than paint or chalk.’ (Wikipedia)
In 10 a bridge has been covered in yarn by Sleppa, in 11 yarn bombing has stricken a bus in Mexico City (by Magda Sayed, founder of Knitta Please).
Nathan Vincent has produced a conceptual installation ‘to gender-neutralize objects associated with overt masculinity. When completed, the objects are no longer rough and manly, but soft and inviting’ he says. (Womansday)
The team Miller & Shellabarger are shown during their ongoing performance ‘The Pink Tube’. The piece was started ten years ago and has so far grown to around 10 metres in length. They work always connected and in public.
Robert Mertens is an artist whom I find particularly interesting in this connection. He combines sound, fiber, performance installations in multi-media works.
The artist Dave Cole mixes in interesting ways conceptual craft and assemblage.
The list of artists who employ knitting and crocheting as media could become very long indeed. Other names that I might wish to explore at a later date are, among others, Louise Bourgeois, Faith Wilding and Rosemarie Trockel for the 1970s and the 1980s, and more recently Haegue Yang, Orly Genger, Stephan Goldrajch, Jim Drain, Olek, Ernesto Neto, Johanna Jackson and Caroline Wells Chandler. (artsy.net)
As a conclusion it is easy to see that today knitting can be used in a very contemporary way in visual communications and art. Very often the artists play with the stereotype of knitting by turning it around and using it to deal with gender themes, environment and war issues.
As a teenager I used to knit my own sweaters and at the time I tried to follow knitting instructions as best as I could and I often became impatient and very frustrated. In recent years I have rediscovered knitting and crocheting in my experiments in textile art and have started to use them in a free way, often as a net and a basis for further embroidery and stitching. What I formally find most interesting is that practically anything having an elongated or threadlike form can be knitted or crocheted, not only yarns, but papers, metal wires, even clay, and can be used to create textural and three-dimensional effects, and this is the direction that I most wish to explore in the future.
List of illustrations
Figure 1. https://i2.wp.com/www.clothroads.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/1559_Kihnu-women.jpg?resize=696%2C522&ssl=1 (Accessed 24/02/17)
Figure 2. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/michael-pearsons-traditional-knitting-aran-fair-isle-and-fisher-ganseys/patterns (Accessed 24/02/17)
Figure 3. https://www.aliexpress.com/popular/knitting-pattern-book.html (Accessed 24/02/17)
Figure 4. www.someecards.com/search?q=Knit (Accessed 24/02/17)
Figure 5. www.someecards.com/parenting/moms/mom-knit-son/ (Accessed 24/02/17)
Figure 6. www.oystermag.com/oyster-originals-celeste-tesoriero-for-the-international-woolmark-prize-shot-by-ryan-brabazon (Accessed 24/02/17)
Figure 7. https://cartesensibili.wordpress.com/2015/10/22/ivano-vitali-e-un-filo-di-storia-di-carta-fernanda-ferraresso/ (Accessed 24/02/17)
Figure 8, 9. http://loisalbinsonknitwear.blogspot.it/search/label/Sample (Accessed 24/02/17)
Figure 10. By Sleppa – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31674086 (Accessed 24/02/17)
Figure 11. http://www.unicomitalia.org/esempi-di-yarn-bombing/ (Accessed 24/02/17)
Figure 12. http://www.womansday.com/home/crafts-projects/a2484/extreme-knitting-crochet-art-118438/ (Accessed 24/02/17)
Figure 13. http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/pink-tube-dutes-miller-stan-shellabarger-crochet-gender-roles/Content?oid=11476997 (Accessed 24/02/17)
Figure 14. http://www.womansday.com/home/crafts-projects/a2484/extreme-knitting-crochet-art-118438/ (Accessed 24/02/17)
Figure 15. http://flavorwire.com/140464/10-artists-who-use-yarn-as-their-medium/3 (Accessed 24/02/17)
Figure 16. http://flavorwire.com/140464/10-artists-who-use-yarn-as-their-medium/5 (Accessed 24/02/17)
Figure 17. http://davecoledavecole.com/ (Accessed 24/02/17)
http://www.inspirewetrust.com/2010/10/26/carta-carta-carta/ (Accessed 24/02/17)
http://www.artnest.eu/casina/casina.html (Accessed 24/02/17)
Lois Albinson: http://loisalbinsonknitwear.blogspot.it/ (Accessed 24/02/17)
Bomb Knitting: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yarn_bombing (Accessed 24/02/17)
Nathan Vincent, Dutes Miller and Stan Shellabarger:
Dutes Miller and Stan Shellabarger: http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/pink-tube-dutes-miller-stan-shellabarger-crochet-gender-roles/Content?oid=11476997 (Accessed 24/02/17)
Robert Mertens: http://robertmertensartist.com/home.html (Accessed 24/02/17)
Dave Cole: http://davecoledavecole.com/ (Accessed 24/02/17)
Gotthardt, Alexxa These Artists Are Giving Knitting a Place in Art History (2017) (online) At: https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-artists-knitting-place-art-history (Accessed 24/02/17)