Yarn crafts have been practiced for centuries, mostly by women. These needle and hook crafts can be used to create blankets, clothing, table cloths and even curtains. Knitting and crochet have now found their way into street art, as yarn graffiti.
Yarn Bombing creates Colorful Shrapnel
Crochet and knit graffiti is sometimes known as “yarn bombing”. The craft street artist will most often create their piece in the quiet of their own homes, before constructing the art work on its intended surface. Yarn graffiti is not limited to any one surface. It has been found on trees, hand rails, fences and hanging from bridges.
Grandma’s Tree Cozy
One of the more well-known yarn designs is a crochet tea cozy. These are essentially a woolen covering that is placed over a hot tea pot to keep it warm. In the images below, a similar covering has been created to cover these trees in a public park, transforming an ordinary public space into a fantastic wonderland.
Yarn Bombed Statues
Statues appear to be one of the favorite subjects for crochet and knit artists to graffiti. These life -like representations of the human form make a perfect base for a statement, and crafters will often either dress them in crochet items in much the same way that a living person would wear crochet clothing, or pose a crafted creature with the statue. Unlike paint graffiti, these street art works don’t vandalize or damage property. The crochet art can simply be cut away and discarded.
Barbed Wire and Doilies
Fences make ideal canvases for crochet and knit graffiti artists. These structures have plenty of places where a yarn artist can attach their crafted street art. Crochet seems to be the yarn bomber’s choice of craft for fence decoration, as it is easy to make flowers, birds, butterflies and other decorative elements in crochet.
Yarn Bombing / Guerrilla Crochet – A Collection
A loop after a loop. Hour after hour my madness becomes crochet. Life and art are inseparable. The movies I watch while crocheting influence my work, and my work dictates the films I select. I crochet everything that enters my space. Sometimes it’s a text message, a medical report, found objects. There is the unraveling, the ephemeral part of my work that never lets me forget about the limited life of the art object and art concept. What do I intend to reveal? You have to pull the end of the yarn and unravel the story behind the crochet.
My work changes from place to place. I studied the science of culture. With a miner’s work ethic, I long to delve deeper and deeper into my investigations. My art was a development that took me away from industrial, close-minded Silesia, Poland. It has always sought to bring color and life, energy, and surprise to the living space. My goal is to produce new work and share it with the public. I intend to take advantage of living in NYC with various neighborhoods and, with my actions, create a feedback to the economic and social reality in our community.
Olek was born Agata Oleksiak in 1978 in Poland. In 2000, she received a BA in Cultural Studies from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland and relocated to New York City, where she is currently based. Olek’s work has been exhibited in galleries, museums and public spaces worldwide and featured in numerous publications such as TIME Magazine, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, Newsweek/Daily Beast, Village Voice, Artinfo, PBS, CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC. Olek is the recipient of the Ruth Mellon Award for sculpture in 2004, In Situ Artaq award (France) in 2011, and a grant in 2011 from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) for performance in public space. Olek’s residencies have included Sculpture Space in 2005, Instituto Sacatar (Brazil) in 2009 and AAI-LES in 2010. In 2008, Olek was the winner of the Apex Art competition, which aired on PBS. In 2010, the artist was commissioned by the Brooklyn Museum of Art for a one-day interactive performance installation. In 2012, Olek was part of the 40 Under 40: Craft Futures exhibition at the Smithsonian, for which her entire crocheted studio apartment was exhibite
Olek on Facebook.com