Aug 30, 2009

Dr. Knit and the Knitting Laboratory

I haven't really thought about knitting ...... ever. ... and would certainly not have associated it with passion of any kind! However, the arrival of Dr. Knit and the Knitting Laboratory in the Trail this year has reminded me of the constant clickety clack of needles in my Granny's house and her seemingly endless production of toys, animals and our favourite cartoon characters! In fact I'm sure I still have some of them in a box somewhere .....

1.Tell us about the work you will be showing in the 2009 E17 Art Trail?
I have always had a passion for arts and crafts, and through the years I learned many different techniques, including illustration, sculpture, papier-mache, ceramics, sewing and knitting. For the Knitting Laboratory project I’ve concentrated on knitting, which as well as being very comforting, enables me to create a wide variety of different toys, using varying textures and colours. I wanted to do something very specific for the Art Trail, and developed the laboratory idea really from the space I was loaned to show in, which was white! Also, I've shaped each toy into individual characters with their own story, for example the Owl who is blind in love, the snails tired of carrying their houses, and the sea horses who want to visit the big city. All the characters can be read about, touched and experienced in the exhibit.

2.Could you have done this work anywhere, or is it specific to E17? Did you respond to this year’s Art Trail theme ‘At Home’

I could have done the work anywhere, in fact, I am always working on creative projects, but I developed this particular idea for the Art Trail. For me, the ‘at home’ theme is integral to the project, given that all the toys were made at home, and knitting at home has always been a part of my family life back in Spain.

3.Have you participated in the E17 Art Trail before?
No, I hadn’t heard of the Art Trail until a friend introduced me to it earlier this year.

4.How does your work this year relate to your previous artistic practice?
I have been knitting for years, and also have a background in working with children, and children’s illustration. So toys and working with the childlike imagination within us all is something I have been greatly inspired by. I have also been inspired by the work of the artist, Julie Arkell, who I worked with earlier this year.

5.What challenges (if any) do you face in realising this work?
My biggest challenge is time as I work full-time. And some of the ideas I have are too ambitious for the wool medium, which can be frustrating. Knitting can be limiting.

6.Who is this work for?
The child within us all.

7.As well as being an artist what else do you do?
I enjoy seeing friends, reading children’s books for research, and I particularly enjoy shopping at flea markets.

8.What is your favourite place in E17?
My knitting chair at home! But I also love Walthamstow Village and the William Morris house.

Dr. Knit:


Harriet Hammel said...

Hi Dr Knit,
This looks very interesting! Hope to come and visit your knitting lab on Sunday.
Harriet Hammel

Bryony said...

Hello Dr Knit,
I am very impressed by your ability to knit such fantastic wee creatures! They are lovely! You are obviously a very good doctor/surgeon too... how many talents can one person have? I am officially a fan of Dr. Knit and will spread the word.