Yarn storming, or the practice of covering the urban environment with removable knitted bits, has recently been spotted in Waterloo Region, with unknown enthusiasts “cosying” everything from a stop sign to a bicycle rack.
Urban yarn storming is not new. In 2008 a huge contingent of knitters took to Covent Garden in London, and West Cape May, New Jersey continues their search for the anonomous Midnight Knitter who covers tree branches with his colorful creations.
Knitting´s rebirth as mainstream activity and consequent reimergence in the textile arts may have something to do with the yarn storming appearances. Sue Sturdy, notable knitter and Cambridge’s artist-in-residence will cover the city’s main street bridge with knitted panels donated from over 1,000 people starting September 9th. Once completed, the temporary work will be the largest piece of public art in the city.
Janet Morton, a Toronto based artist and former KW|AG exhibitor (2008-Better Homes and Gardens), shares Sturdy’s interest in wrapping the inanimate, and has cosied everything from trees to houses that she previously resided in.
So where does this seemingly wide spread obsession with wrapping things with yarn come from? Why has yarn storming made the transition from art to guerilla style interventions, or is it the other way around? Is it a way of personalizing a sterile or impersonal environment or the new it version of graffiti?
Grab some yarn and find out for yourself.
- Kirstie Paterson, Gallery Staff