It all started with a walk I took with my friend almost a year ago, when she asked me if I had any idea for a street art project for the annual street festival she runs every Passover - I immediately said YES (because i can't really say no, hardly ever), I started talking and making it up as we went along (it was a long walk so you can only imagine). My idea was to create a series of outdoor art installations made by various artists that were based on crafts. I gave her my entire spiel of how craft and art is vital to a healthy society, a society of makers verses consumers, etc (that can be a whole other post). The installations will form a trail that will go side by side with the historic trail of Zichron Yaakov. She liked it. And the committee liked it. And everyone was happy (well...most of the times). Since I hardly know any artists I got together with a curator who knows them all. Soon enough we had a respectable list of artists who were taking part in the exhibition. Alongside the production of this project I committed to run 3 community art installations in collaboration with other artists. The Tent, The Cloud and more than 1000 butterflies.
My very favorite installation to work on was "The Tent"
You can read a little about it on my site
On this project I collaborated with an amazing artist - Noa Mer (who also happened to be a very good friend, or maybe she became a good friend after working together on the installation, I can’t really remember). We both knew we wanted to do something with knitting. But we knew it couldn’t be another knitted tree or knitted house. I think you will agree we’ve seen enough of those. Since Both our kids go to a Waldorf school where finger knitting is homework, we decided to use that as the basis of our work. After that it all fell into place. Long knitted ropes that will form a tent that will be hung from a tree somewhere in town. Not sure how exactly or where, but that was our adventure.
And so it happened that every Wednesday for 3 months we met at the local community center. Word got out about our free kids’ activity, who would miss that...?!
So they all came, kids, parents, grandparents, friends, brothers and sisters ages 4-84
All sitting chatting and knitting very very long ropes.
We were all making art, forming a community.
and we lived happily ever after
the tent keepers (right to left): zoe, hillal, avia, ria, noa, mika, me
The challenges were countless : we had almost no budget to start with, which of course made us use mostly reclaimed materials. The factory where we got the fabric scraps closed and we had to look for alternative resource and since we were in a serious time crunch....you can only imagine the stress....we had to solve the construction details imagining the worst case scenario, but of course we didn’t imagine people climbing to the very top ring at the opening festival (15 feet above ground). Luckily no one got hurt. But more difficult than transporting it from the community center to the site (it wouldn't fit in my big white toyota) and hanging it, maintaining it was (and still is) the biggest challenge of all.
These days I am working on what I call the aftershock. I have designed the space for a shelter for teenagers. Together with the kids we are making hammocks, poofs, punchbag, area rug, basketball hoops, all made from fabric scraps with finger knitting and crocheting. I will tell you know more about it when there is more to see.
In the meantime you can try finger knitting using this video I found online