Thursday, October 11, 2012

Yarn Bombing & Other Fiber and Textile Art at DAI

~Marie - sketching a Greek statue~
Marie, my youngest daughter, is a fine arts major at Wright State University. And, like all fine arts majors, she has to take a whole host of art history classes and write a whole host of essays regarding various works of art, etcetera. She and I headed off to the Dayton Art Institute this morning, loaded down with sketch books, charcoal, ink, and extra batteries for photographs. While she was sketching her heart out, I slipped away to view the yarn bombing and various other fiber and textile arts on display around the museum. 

Yarn bombing (aka guerrilla knitting, yarn storming), if you are not familiar with it, is a new and fast emerging form of urban street art (or graffiti) which uses "feminine craft" in the forms of knitting, crocheting, felting, sewing, and embroidery rather than paint (or other permanent media) as a means to tactilely beautify a space or object. I love it - it gives such warmth to an otherwise lifeless thing or area. Folky, yes. But we Yanks love our folk art! It is ingrained in the American spirit, so bombs away!

~Artists Nancy Mellon & Jafabrit, "Off Their Rockers" (2012)~

~Artist Jafabrit, "Jafabrit Yarnbomber's Arm" (2011)~

~It did!~

New art cannot have a valued presence without the recognition and appreciation for old art, and like every true romantic of bygone eras, I find myself gravitating toward the marvelous works of the old masters. 

~Flemish Tapestry (wool and silk): The Months of Lucas, March, circa 1650~

~Flemish Tapestry by Hans Geubels (wool and silk): King Abimelech Restores Sarah to Her Husband Abraham, circa 1560-1580~

~Sculpture attributed to Francisco Salzillio y Alcaraz (wood, silver, human hair and lashes, glass, crystal, fabric): Sorrowful Mother, circa 1760-1780~

~Dutch Benediction Veil (linen and bobbin lace), circa 1690-1700~

~American Lafayette Commemorative Coverlet (double weave, jacquard loom, blue and white cotton), 1824~

In the spirit of Good Will and in the name of "feminine crafting", I encourage you to yarn bomb the object or space of your choice. And, while you are in the throws of this softer and warmer form of urban defacement, blessings and happy knitting, crocheting, felting, sewing and embroidering!

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