Yarn bombing at the Ararat gallery

Jade Kahle and Sue Kennedy with some of the yarn bombed trees at the Ararat Regional Art Gallery. Picture: PETER PICKERING
Jade Kahle and Sue Kennedy with some of the yarn bombed trees at the Ararat Regional Art Gallery. Picture: PETER PICKERING

ARARAT - Ararat Regional Art Gallery has been yarn bombed by a group of local knitters to mark the gallery's 45th anniversary.

Yarn bombing has established itself as an international public art phenomenon.

The practice involves wrapping trees, posts and elements of buildings with a knitted or textile 'skin', which in most cases brightens the streetscape, but also heightens awareness of the nature of public space.

In more extreme examples of the practice, even cars, buses and buildings have been yarn bombed.

Yarn bombing, which is sometimes referred to as guerrilla knitting, can be provocative, but through the use of wool and fabric it mostly prompts a positive response from passers-by.

Yarn bombing is a form of graffiti, but it doesn't carry the same stigma because it doesn't cause lasting property damage.

Although it is almost universally appealing, this doesn't mean it can't also be a potent vehicle for social comment.

The examples you will see in front of the gallery at the moment are mostly decorative, but there is one knitted statement which says, 'Women's work but is it art?'

The statement points to the perceived marginality of both textiles and women artists throughout history, and perhaps the role public galleries, including our own, play in perpetuating this status quo.

Gallery volunteer and Moyston-based textile artist Sue Kennedy came up with the idea of idea of yarn bombing the area surrounding the gallery to mark the gallery's 45th birthday.

From the start it was agreed that the project should be a grassroots community art action, rather than an official gallery project.

The reason for this is that yarn bombing works best when it occurs with an element of surprise, as a gentle, but nonetheless transgressive public space intervention.

Sue led the project and received important support and contributions from Elizabeth Carnaby, Debby Fuller and Jean Halvorsen.

Sue Kennedy and Elizabeth Carnaby, who are both gallery volunteers, completed the yarn bombing last week.

Many of the panels used in the project were contributed by knitters from across the community.

Thanks to everyone involved in marking the gallery's 45th birthday in such a creatively playful way.

Anthony Camm


Ararat Regional Art Gallery


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