Sunday, December 5, 2010


The ARTillery Youth Arts Festival, an Amnesty International initiative, was launched last week. I have been madly creating some art work for the Masterpeace exhibition (one event of the festival). Above is my work just completed, spread out on the floor. After trying various ways of installing crochet, felt and calico to the wall, we finally found something that worked, and my piece it up! I am really excited about the opening event tonight, at the groovy Manhattan's Bar.

Each of the 14 artists involved partnered with an individual at risk, presenting an art work that critically engages the viewer with stories of human rights violations. My work was informed by a political prisoner in Myanmar (Burma). Here is a little about my work:

In 1998, Myo Min Zaw was arrested in a local tea shop in his home town, in Myanmar (Burma). A second year student at Yangon University, Myo Min Zaw had been peacefully demonstrating and disseminating written information about human rights and democracy for his country. This year, he will have served 12 years of his 52 year sentence, including one year of solitary confinement, for his continued campaigning for human rights, despite being in prison.

His story is not a stand alone case, and despite Myanmar democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, being released recently, many others are persecuted and incarcerated for fighting for basic human rights – freedoms which are common place to young people in Australia.

My work “Tree of Rights” is an attempt to show a direct and familiar link between Myo Min Zaw – a prisoner of conscience – and me – representing an average West Aussie. Our lives and experiences now are vastly different, despite being about the same age, both having attended university, both having been involved in student politics and fighting for human rights.

Using traditional ‘western’ crafts – crochet and sewing – represents the familiar, something tactile, soft, and friendly, juxtaposing a story of harsh injustice, violation, and torture. The tree is a version of the ‘family tree’, where there are links of meaning and kinship along the branches. The links in this tree are significant, and I have used this analogy to try and evoke the sentiment and compassion found in your family tree.

I have chosen key people – many of them public figures - to show these links between Myo Min Zaw and myself. I hope that this highlights the importance of advocating for social change, and lobbying someone known to you can help make that change.

'tis the season!

Our tree is up! And I have been thinking about making some of these gorgeous decorations!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Take a Knit down Beaufort Street!

Yesterday, the Beaufort Street Festival went off! What a fantastic combination of music, art, fun, excitement, people, laughs, great food, local shops . . . .

I arrived just after 5am, along with a whole community of local knitters, crocheters, and general yarn-lovers. And boy, did we brighten up the street! There was so much amazing work - I have to say I was totally blown away by the beauty, detail, and ingenuity of creations. And the sheer quantity of yarn tags! I have chosen a few of my favourites, and my completed monster bus stop to share with you. I am so glad I had time to take some photos yesterday morning early, as a trot over to Beaufort Street this morning was a sad sight - so many gorgeous pieces taken! All my monsters gone! I all hope is that they were taken into a home where they will continue to be enjoyed.

I also want to publicly acknowledge Elaine and Brodie from Behind the Monkey, who are on the Beaufort Street Festival committee and instigated the 'Take a Knit Down Beaufort Street' project. They provided the support, organisation, early morning cups of tea, and all round fabulousness!! Thank you Elaine and Brodie. (PS - If you like locally designed jewellry and art, check out the stunning wares at Behind the Monkey!)

The M O N S T E R bus stop!!!

Julie's bodacious bike:

Claire's totally tactile Thistles:

Sandra's detailed and delicate flower trees:

Jude and team's totally and fantastically huge hanging:

Dani and Nadine' spunky and splendid Freedom sign:

Judy's Doggy Poo Pouches - SO cute!:

Petrafanella's awesome Arrows:

Jo's very sweet post-teddy-bears-picnic washing:

Another one of many that I also installed. I like this one, as it shows a little of the great street art that lives on Beaufort Street:

More cleverly crafted creations! Unfortunately I don't know the artists personally to acknowledge them. And let me tell you that this is only a very small selection of the great yarn tagging that was to be seen!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The M O N S T E R bus stop part 1 . . .

Here is monster number 1's journey of creation . . . . his name is Pinkley (thank you Ben!) and he likes to sit on people's heads!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

M O N S T E R inspiration!!

As I have mentioned a few times recently, I am assisting with a HUGE yarn-tag project for the Beaufort Street Festival on Saturday 27 November. There are more than 60 people contributing pieces of knit, crochet, pom poms, and various yarn creations which is so exciting!

I have taken on a rather large task of yarn-tagging a bus stop. So, I have a chosen a theme that comes from the eternal child in me - monsters!!! I have been making monster softies for some time, and I just love that each monster is unique, a different colourful creature - and friendly, of course!!

With many ideas in mind, I take particular inspiration from these amazing artists . . . .

You should have seen my excitement to discover Benjamin Krudwig's etsy shop!!! I just love all of his crochet pieces, but this horned hat excites me so much that I just can't wipe the grin off my face! :D (did I mention the child in me?!?!)

Angela Davidson is another massive favourite of mine right now. I really love her unique creations, the texture and form of the cotton yarn she uses, and the bright colours. Jaw-droppingly beautiful and fun!

Although these next two are not crocheted, they inspire me no end! And I have a (not so) secret love for making softies myself . . . .! I really admire the personality that comes out in Ninon's work, and the combination of fabrics and shapes. Ninon also has a great etsy shop here!

Cottonmonster - magnificent monsters created by Jennifer Strunge - has the most gorgeous website!! You must check it out! The playfulness of these creatures really tickles one's fancy!

With all this inspiration, you can see that my mind and creativity is running WILD!!! How to turn my ideas into a bus stop covered yarn tag . . . . . .

. . . . . watch this space as my ideas unfold!!!

ARTillery Festival

I have supported Amnesty International or many years - I was one of the founding members of my high school Amnesty Club, where we got together once a week to write letters to heads of state/international agencies to petition for human rights, often on behalf of persecuted individuals.

So I was delighted to see the ARTillery Festival (an Amnesty initiative, and youth arts festival) return to Perth this year. I even submitted some examples of work to be an artist at one of the events: masterpeace. I haven't hear the outcome of that yet, but either way, I will be sure to attend the Perth events for the ARTillery Festival. I really appreciate artists having a social conscience in their work, and am trying to involve creative ways to make small acts of social change in my own work. The arts has always provided a social commentary, of sorts, and I hope by using creative projects and art works that we can change people's perceptions, challenge the status quo, and make this world a better place. I have optimism! And festivals like ARTillery are extraordinarily powerful examples of this. Thank you ARTillery xx


Thursday, October 28, 2010

all good things must come to an end

After being up in the piazza for nearly a month (it was only supposed to be up for the weekend of City in Bloom!) Thimbles and Soup and I took down our colourful yarn creation. It was sad to have to pull off the lovely vines that had grown through it - I took a few photos on my phone (sorry about the quality!) for posterity.

We have had so many amazing people give us compliments about "Bloom Where You Are Planted" - thank you all. A great surprise the evening we were at the piazza taking down our piece - something to counter our sadness at removing it - we met Petrafanella from Made on the Left!! Wow! What an honour! I have been a fan of the Made on the Left crew ever since I discovered their existence. They have their Christmas Markets coming up soon - I am looking forward to experiencing a fine array of local handmade delectables!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

so, down at the northbridge piazza . . .

. . . . our yarn bloom is up! after a lengthy install process we have finally completed the largest crochet piece that we have ever done! Thimbles and Soup has been an amazing creative collaborator!! Thank you!!! xxxx

So, here are a whole lot of images, because I couldn't decide on just a few! Thankfully we were able to start the install process at the Propel Youth Arts WA office, just down the road - thank you Propel! The next morning we spent a good 4 hours getting our piece up onto the 8mx8m greenwall. The City of Perth have allowed us to keep our piece up for 2 weeks rather than take it down after the City in Bloom weekend - thanks City of Perth! They also got us onto local TV news, and set up a local street press interview. Overall, a really wonderful project for us.

Now on my mind . . . something exciting for the Beaufort Street Festival! Watch this space . . . .!