I have applied for a place within the Holmfirth Arts Festival/AVAV Projects : Call for Temporary Empty Shops Projects which will run through the early part of June. As I have a Degree Show to comprehend with, this may prove a slight segue.
This particular exhibition is close to my small cotton upbringing as it marks the two hundredth anniversary of the Luddite uprising and here in Oswaldwaldtwistle (where James Hargreaves invented the Spinning Jenny) had our own particular Power Loom Riots of 1826.
The Luddites felt that the enroaching technologies of the power loom etc were rightfully taking their jobs and they began to destroy the new technologies. Flashes of the Luddite movement still exist today.
My exhibit will be a selection of hand-knitted wall-pieces that will be my approx height and my age in stitches across. I am using unprocessed (to an extent) cotton twine and they will together. I am hoping to machine one hanging and hand-knit the other. The machine knitted one will the be open to the audience to detangle and destroy and this to be left with the untouched hand knotted version. The concept behind this is two-fold really. I am interested in object-power and the way abjects trap us with emotional sentiment and this process will make me a little uncomfortable, I am trying to prove that I can step away from emotional attachment and let something be destroyed.
I have destroyed work before with the Manchester Art Burners but a piece of knit is virtually a diary. I have knitted at the Tate, Saatchi, at the doctors, on public transport etc and with eack knit, there is a memory..so detangling a piece that took a week or longer to produce is like dispersing pent up memory.
Also I am fascinated with how the audience at an exhibition treat the exhibits like they are religious artefacts and if they would allow themselves the power to actually destroy work..
The second part of the concept is the more brutal side of the riots and uprising as the audience will destroy the machine knitted wall-piece and hopefully leave the more memory induced partner alone.
This is a detail from one of my two samplers that I have decided to stitch together. They are six foot high and hang together within my studio.
I wasn't successful in my proposal but this hasn't deterred me from the project. I am still knitting wall pieces using green and brown jute, thick white string and parcel string.