Aug 21, 2011

Dr. Knit and the Knitting Laboratory

Dean and Martin
For the third year, Dr. Knit invites you to his extraordinary Knitting Laboratory to meet the wonderful, expressive creatures he has created with just wool and knitting needles.

Accomplished high jumpers, the Wobblies
1. Please tell us about the work you will be showing in the 2011 E17 Art Trail. Did you respond to this year’s theme “On Your Marks”? What impact do you think the Olympics will have on E17? 
Continuing from the previous two years I'm showing a variety of arts and crafts techniques emphasising knitting, as well as story-telling. For this year, people coming to the Laboratory will be able to re-visit some of the old creatures, as well as three new characters with three new stories, plus some surprises! All the visitors are invited to read the stories as well as touch and experience all the creatures on display. 
In terms of the theme, yes and no. Yes because some of the Knitting Laboratory creatures are already Olympic winners. For example, the Wobbly is one of the most accomplished high jumpers in the world. My snails are slow, but in the snail world they are definately the fastest! Dean and Martin, the sea-horses, have achieved great success in the synchronized swimming, and have several medals to prove it. I could carry on all day! And no, because I didn't intentionally follow the theme, although some of the creatures have requested to wear their gold medals this year.
I hope that the impact the games have on E17 will be a positive one.

Tina Tremble
 2. What challenges (if any) did you face in realising this work? 
As always, the biggest challenge is time. To have more spare time to devote to the work would be ideal.

3. What do you like about E17 and why? Is there anything you would change about the area? 
I like the proximity to Epping Forest and the greenery around Lea Valley. Walthamstow market, even if it could benefit from more variety of stalls, is still a good source of raw materials for me. I'd like the area to have more cultural events, a cinema, an art centre, and maybe two Art Trails a year.

Three cupcakes 
4. Who and/or what inspires you? 
I find inspiration in every day things, such as magazines, books, photographs and found objects. Children always feature prominently in my work, and are an enormous inspiration for the project and my life. I'm really excited about the inclusion of a new children's trail guide this year as I believe it will help to encourage more children into arts and crafts, as a counter-balance to too much emphasis on computer games and television.
5. What advice would you give to aspiring artists?
Be in touch with your inner child, your heart and your feelings.

Visit Dr. Knit and his creations at the Knitting Laboratory at 106 Beulah Road, Sunday 4 and 11 September

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