Yarnbombing in Bondi Junction

Outside the local landmark, Bondi Junction Veterinary Hospital, my daughter noticed this sculpture wrapped around a street pole. 
We’ve both heard of these knitted sculptures but it was the first time that we’ve ever seen one. Firstly, it’s quite unobtrusive and secondly it’s very cleverly done and a great addition to the public domain; it doesn’t detract from the sign’s function nor does it pose a distraction to drivers.

I’ve seen these sculptures before on the media and they really are so refreshing to come across in the street;  they are so whimsical and such a change to so much pubic art/sculpture that  takes itself so seriously. Putting the craft and personal touch back into the street and out of the hands of local government is a very positive thing.

On researching yarnbombing, this example must be one remaining in celebration of World Wide Knit In Public Day on June 10, 2011 as I didn’t get into the city to check  out Woolmark’s bombing of Martin Place. According to one website, this was the first International World Wide Knit Day and there are numerous websites where people upload images of the day and also knitting groups.

In “2005 there were about 25 local events around the world.  In 2006 there were about 70 local events.  2007 there were almost 200.  In 2008 there were 800 events, and in 2009 there were 751.”

Woolmark licensee Australian Country Spinners (ACS), that produces Patons and Cleckheaton hand knitting yarns, will be hosting the World Wide Knit in Public Day with events running simultaneously in Sydney and Melbourne on Saturday 11th June”.

The World Wide Knit in Public Day was instigated by Danielle Landes in 2005 in the US, and starts on the second Saturday of June every year. In Britain, Stitch London was started in 2005 in a London pub for those wanting to knit in public places. In 1999, Debbie Stoller  in New York, started in Stitch’n’Bitch group and from there started other groups across the US.

There are too many groups and individuals to discuss who have played a role in this really positive alternative to urban graffiti/public art movement except to say that it all reflects a response to top-down dealing with the public domain and decision-making. There are parallels with street fashion and architecture in the way that high-end designers and architects will look to the streets for trends/ideas and then take them up which is an normal process.  What happens though is that it can become politicised or popularised to such an extent that the idea or design becomes lost and sanitised in the process.

Let’s hope it doesn’t happen with yarnbombing.

Here are some other links:

/knittaporfavor.wordpress.com/about/

yarnbombing.com/

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