AAW Day 2: Yarnbombing
Today saw the launch of possibly the most interesting and quirky project of Arts Awareness Week. The name, my friend, is ‘Yarnbombing’.
Yarnbombing – or ‘Guerilla Knitting’ as it is often labelled – aims to cover empty, often desolate locations or their features with its own woollen brand of graffiti. A broad range of people pick up their knitting needles and set to work in creating some quirky, and oddly beautiful, designs.
Across the world community spaces have been transformed, with reams of colourful wool in flamboyant designs covering the derelict, the concrete or the grey of everyday life.
SAASY, in collaboration with the group known as Knit-Soc, want to expand and beautify the area around Vanbrugh Paradise, often regarded as a focal centre of campus life. They hope to get their own special knitting packs, including wool, needles and – importantly for me at least – instructions for hundreds of people across campus.
Maddie Boden and Briony Cartmell, who are running the project, hope to create a visual spectacular from the knitted pieces given by students from all over campus – wool and knitting, it seems to them, is an unexplored medium for art. They want the creations to represent the contributions of the whole student community, bringing everyone together through doing something a bit different and ultimately learning a new skill. In turn, the pieces will be transformed into a brightly-coloured masterpiece in stark contrast to the currently miserable area, clad only in paving slabs and guano.
They’re keen to argue that knitting isn’t just for the teapot-fanciers of outer suburbia, or the genteel ladies of the Women’s Institute. Although at first it seems a little too ‘hipster’ for some sensibilities, Maddie and Briony hope that everyone can appreciate this quirky celebration of campus life and the Arts. There has already been a great deal of interest from older students, who have picked up their packs with glee; a suitable alternative to the usual mundanity of the post-exam pre-week 9 period.
Yarnbombing has a certain quirky irony, a type of courteous vandalism with aims to beautify and involve everybody in the fun.
Yarnbombing continues this week on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday at 8pm in Vanbrugh Paradise.
For more information on where you can get the packs, or when you can actually help make the final display, please see the Arts Awareness Week timetable.