When I think of knitting, my 86-year-old grandma comes to mind. When I think of graffiti, an angry youth who wasn’t hugged enough as a child comes to mind. When I think of combining knitting and graffiti, my mind explodes from the ensuing awesomeness.
I have mixed feelings about graffiti. On the one hand, it can be vulgar, messy and uglies up our communities. On the other hand, it’s a bit of civil disobedience that can have powerful political and social messages attached them (think Banksy). And oftentimes they’re downright beautiful. And while my opinions on traditional forms of graffiti go back and forth, my feelings about Graffiti Knitting are unequivocally positive.
Also known as Yarnstorming, Yarnbombing and Guerrilla Knitting, Graffiti Knitting involves covering public spaces in a woolly type of street art. Graffiti Knitting is a form of street art that uses knitted or crocheted yarn as its medium instead of the conventional paint or chalk. One of the nice things about this form of graffiti is that it’s not permanent and easily removed from public areas.
Good question. The motivations for yarnstormers range from simply reclaiming and personalizing public spaces to telling stories to getting people to take notice of the world around them. Knit the City, a graffiti knitting art collective based out of London, England, offers this explanation:
“Unleashing our squishy art on the world, makes us and others happy and brings something to life that wasn’t there before. Put an 8-metre giant knitted squid on a statue of the father of modern biology, or a giant cosy on a phonebox under the paranoid gaze of CCTV, and see how it makes you feel. Go on. We’ll wait here… See?
There’s a bubbling love of being alive behind our street art. Stony-faced and outraged art has its place, but life is also beautiful, enchanting, heart-squeezingly graceful and all kinds of weird. Consider it a stitched shove that whispers “Wake up! The world is a mad and marvellous place and we all get to live in it.”
Our street art does many things. It takes a woolly hold on forgotten public spaces and gives them soul. It treats the whole world as an art gallery. It encourages others to bring their own city to life in ways only they can imagine.
After all a city without citizens is just an empty shell of a place with no life at all.”
Strange? You bet. Awesome? Absolutely.
Visit Knit the City’s website to learn more about this unique activity.
What do you think? Have you ever been moved or wowed by street art?
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