“I had to tramp down a dirt road in Bryan, Texas. I remember always hugging and kissing her at the door and then pushing my way in to see what she was cooking for our Sunday lunch. I remember, the musty smell of mothballs hanging in the air mingling with the cherry pie on the kitchen table that I wasn’t allowed to touch until after I had eaten all of my meal. I also remember sitting on her rough brown couch impatiently trying to make it through crochet and knitting lessons. Many times when we would have lessons I would find myself blankly staring out the window at the bird feeder where the cardinals perched.”
Was this you????? Do you wish you had been paying attention during your knitting lessons? This March, on the Texas A&M campus, TAMU students with the help of the Visual Arts Committee, the Brazos Valley Knitters Guild, The Hook and Needle, and Magda Sayeg, dressed the light poles on Military Walk in a printed rainbow knit. These tube socks that were knitted around the poles are part of a nation-wide craze known as Yarn Bombing.
Textile art has gradually made its way onto the contemporary art scene. This new form of art is said to serve as a ground where textile production is neither solely for the female nor the male. Despite gender, race and age, this art speaks beautifully and carries a presence unlike any other art form.
Over the past few years, yarn bombing has become more and more prevalent; beginning with urban areas and moving throughout the rest of the country. It is practiced regularly in a few major cities in areas including Canada, the United States, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. And though this form of art is catching on, it is still not very widely known. Other names for the practice include knit bombing, guerilla knitting, yarn storming, and urban knitting.
Trees, sculptures, statues, phone booths, gates, handles, poles and any other object of reasonable size is at risk of being bombed by this craze. There are even cans of spray yarn (similar to spray paint), used to graffiti walls.
Magda Sayeg was a guest lecturer on the Texas A&M campus this year and the founder of Yarn Bombing. Her work has grown to include the knit-covered bus in Mexico City, her first solo exhibit in Rome at La Museo des Esposizione, covering the AC ductwork of Etsy.com’s headquarters located in Brooklyn, and she is finishing an installation at the Williamsburg Bridge working with the NYC Department of Transportation.
She has worked with companies worldwide, including Absolut Vodka, Madewell, Insight 51, Mini Cooper, and Smart Car. She has also participated in art shows at Milan’s Triennale Design Museum, Le M.U.R. in Paris, and the National Gallery of Australia.
She has begun experimenting with new techniques and additions to her artwork, such as using lighting with her knitted material. She has joined forces with the integrated media company 1stAveMachine as a director. This position will push her to new varieties of experimentation and collaboration.
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