Sharing Ink

Sometimes the intention and meaning behind a guerrilla art project makes me feel slightly giddy. I discovered this wonderful project called Sharing Ink by Australian artist Sayraphim Lothian through the Craftivist Collective’s Facebook group.

Sayraphim has made and left 30 blank journals, each with a message inscribed in front page, around Melbourne for people to find. This really rather beautiful film tells the story…

Sharing Ink from The Public Studio on Vimeo.

The Sharing Ink appeals to me on so many levels. Firstly I love Sayaphim’s views on public art, on the difference in interaction and ownership between art in a public place and art in a gallery. The project also makes me think about own relationship with books, my increasing reliance on computers, e-readers and gadgets and how books provide something tangible and physical that isn’t replicated by modern technology. I also love that this project is asking people to challenge their perceptions of people they don’t know, challenging society’s preconception that all ‘strangers’ should be feared. That someone you don’t know could actually make your day better…

You can read more about Sharing Ink on this blog or on the Facebook page, which also include the stories from people that have found some of the journals. I really really love this project.

Yarnbombing: Brentford

Not just yarnbombing, but here on Little Stitch we bring you yarnbombing spotted on the move!

These photos of yarnbombed trees on Brentford High Street come from ‘The Aussie’s’ helmet camera, after he spotted them on his bicycle commute in to Central London. You might need to tilt your screen a bit…

Yarnbombed tree on Brentford High Street

Yarnbombed tree on Brent

Aren’t they fabulous? As always, do you know who made these yarnbombs? And why? I’d really love to know.

You can check out more of the gallery of yarnbombing gallery from around the world here. And if you have spotted any mysterious yarnbombs you would like me to feature, please drop me a line – my contact details can be found here.

Happy hunting!

Yarnbombing: Oxford

Lampost Yarnbomb Oxford

Oxford is a beautiful city, all lush greens along side the flowing Thames and dreaming spires. But I’m afraid what really gets me excited is spotting a bit of renegade craft among the collegiate limestone…

floral Yarnbomb Oxford

These beautiful floral garlands decorated the fences of Radcliffe Square…

Lampost Yarnbomb Oxford

…and around the city lamppost were adorned with knitted cosies.

Lampost Yarnbomb Oxford

Do you know who made these yarnbombs? And why? I’d really love to know. But in the meantime, in an era where so much of our visual environment is dominated by adverts and multinational brands, I love seeing people put their such a pretty creative mark on their cities.

Check out more yarnbombs I have spotted on my travels here.

Yarnbombing: Moscow

a ‘yarn bombed’ street light outside Gorky Park in Moscow

I’m a rather fascinated with yarn bombing at the moment. It feels looks like fun but also a crafty bit of rebellion. As the wonderful Streetcolor Art says,  

“some think that yarnbombing is just silly and it is fun but it is also full of soul . Our cities belong to us’
 I saw quite a few of these street lights, wrapped up in little knitted coats, around Gorky Park when we went to Moscow.  They seemed really incongruous, mainly because I had a (unrealistic) vision in my head of the bureaucracy of Russia never allowing anything like this. But they were also really gorgeous against the backdrop of the snow…
This rather refined gentleman had been given a little woolen beanie to keep him warm in the freezing temperatures.

I’ve been wondering a lot about the value of yarnbombing. Some may argue that it seems rather pointless, it doesn’t have a direct message – what does covering lampost, statues, even buildings in knitting actually say to us? Or is it purely a statement, like Streetcolor Art says, about the ownership of our towns and cities? Our towns and cities are dominated with advertising and municipal statues and structures. Does yarnbombing empower people in customising their surrounds in a non-permanent and fun way? What does yarnbombing say to you?

You could put something really great here?

This little celebration of Craftivism is in honour of my friends, the Craftivist Collective, and the launch of a crowdfunding project for their first book. It is collection of my favourite personal craftivist projects. This is was originally published elsewhere on 12th March 2012:

I’ve been fascinated with guerrilla craft and craftivism (craft used for activism) for a while now. I like the way it can make people think, how it can prompt conversation. But I also like how it can be used to reclaim the human environment, so full of adverts and the constant bombardment of corporate images, yet being softer than more common street art. A little bit more incongruous.

This was my first mini-protest banner, made from a kit bought from the Craftivist Collective. The area outside of Reading train station is full of empty offices and a poorly designed 1960s arcade and bus station. It is run down and deemed beyond repair. Recently development consultants, employed by the local council, have put together a master planning vision to redevelop the area – to demolish the existing buildings and build flats, offices and shops. Completely uninspiring and a development that appears to not respond to any community needs. This is a town full of empty offices, full of empty shops, full of housing that people can not afford. A problem that isn’t going to be resolved by building more market flats.

Frustrated with the planning processes for the town where I live, my protest banner is a message to ask people to think about what else can be done to regenerate towns. I also hoped it might make someone think about the space around them and what it could be, not just what property developers think it should be… You could put something really great here?

This was my first piece of craftivism/ guerrilla craft. But it probably won’t be my last. I love the way working on it focused my mind, I found it a bit of a release. And, just between you and me, I loved putting it up and reclaiming my little bit of my town.

You can find out more about the Craftivist Collective here, buy your own mini-banner kit here and read more of celebration of craftivism posts here. Ta!


A little celebration of craftivism: You could put something really great here?

This little celebration of Craftivism is in honour of my friends, the Craftivist Collective, and the launch of a crowdfunding project for their first book. It is collection of my favourite personal craftivist projects. This is was originally published elsewhere on 12th March 2012:

I’ve been fascinated with guerrilla craft and craftivism (craft used for activism) for a while now. I like the way it can make people think, how it can prompt conversation. But I also like how it can be used to reclaim the human environment, so full of adverts and the constant bombardment of corporate images, yet being softer than more common street art. A little bit more incongruous.

This was my first mini-protest banner, made from a kit bought from the Craftivist Collective. The area outside of Reading train station is full of empty offices and a poorly designed 1960s arcade and bus station. It is run down and deemed beyond repair. Recently development consultants, employed by the local council, have put together a master planning vision to redevelop the area – to demolish the existing buildings and build flats, offices and shops. Completely uninspiring and a development that appears to not respond to any community needs. This is a town full of empty offices, full of empty shops, full of housing that people can not afford. A problem that isn’t going to be resolved by building more market flats.

Frustrated with the planning processes for the town where I live, my protest banner is a message to ask people to think about what else can be done to regenerate towns. I also hoped it might make someone think about the space around them and what it could be, not just what property developers think it should be… You could put something really great here?

This was my first piece of craftivism/ guerrilla craft. But it probably won’t be my last. I love the way working on it focused my mind, I found it a bit of a release. And, just between you and me, I loved putting it up and reclaiming my little bit of my town.

You can find out more about the Craftivist Collective here, buy your own mini-banner kit here and read more of celebration of craftivism posts here. Ta!