Sunday, December 06, 2009

Is it Culture, class or Age?

1971 (16 years old) and first major embroidery piece Donated Transfer, old pillowcase, and whatever embroidery thread I could find.

Well there are some things I am just not getting, maybe it's cultural (British vs American), maybe it is class roots and age?
On a blog about yarnbombing a commentator stated her concern over the "racial overtone" of the name knitta please, but didn't elaborate further. What am I missing?
I can't even hazard a guess on this one???

Another stated yarnbombing carried latent clas
s messages suggesting only those in the leisure classes can afford to spend time and money on knitting and this activity.
Apart from
the fact that knitting isn't confined to one class, this view smacks of presumptions and condescension.
What do they think working class or poor people do, huddle around a paraffin heater all night and lament their miserable lives after seeing a bit knitting on a pole, worrying about how other people spend their time or money? Do they think because a person lacking disposable income or is poor suddenly stops
having any spare time and desire to do or see things that give comfort and joy.I know when we went through a bout of poverty in the 70's a source of comfort in the evenings (no fancy foods, daily meat, soft drinks, no cars, stereos, computers, telephone, multiple channel colour tv's) was finding scraps to embroider and knit with. A great source of joy was being able to see art for free at the local art museum.
No, I would not have had the money to buy yarn and stick it on a tree, but who says people can't find free/recycle stuff to use for creative endeavors. Rags or Found Plastic shopping bags can be knitted
and used for yarnbombing ya know!Resources may be different, but many people don't stop wanting or trying to do fun creative things in life.
LINKSKnitting on the Cheap
Recycling Crafts and Projects
Plastic Bag Crafts
Knitting Throughout the World
Timeless Turkish Treasures talks of "Turkish women knit, whether old or young, homemaker or banker "

Back of embroidery
It has been years since I have seen this embroidery and I was shockingly reminded of how important it was back then to have a clean back with no knots.
Most of what I have done lately looks like a disaster at the back lol!


Bill Evertson said...

Great observation that art activity doesn't really have much to do with class. As a activity the impulse seems to cross all social distinctions with differences showing themselves in material choice and availability. With a bit of pigment and a cave our ancestors managed quite nicely.

JafaBrit's Art said...

"With a bit of pigment and a cave our ancestors managed quite nicely."

boy did they ever :)

Lana Gramlich said...

In regards to the perceived problem around "knitta," I refer you to this example, which is completely politically incorrect.

Colette Amelia said...

Wow that is stunning and look at the back! it is so neat!

I have a little something for you stop by!

JafaBrit's Art said...

thanks lana, I see it is cultural since brits use a hard t in pronunciation whereas americans use a soft t. Still it is a bit of a stretch to make that kind of perception.

thanks collette, kind of puts my current work to shame ;)

Undaunted said...

Wow, that emboidery is lovely! And hear hear! Poor people can knit too y'know! In fact I'd say that in years gone by those with less income needed to knit their own jumpers and such like - y'know, before slave labour made it cheaper to just buy brand new and ready made! People can yarn bomb with left over scraps of wool, they don't need to go and buy new balls!

JafaBrit's Art said...

I think you hit the nail on the head undaunted in regard to slave labour.

JafaBrit's Art said...

ps. yes, I generally use recycled yarn, or donated odd skeins people give me, or buy yarn that costs less than what some pay for a starbucks coffee.

Shanti Johnson said...

Keep on Keeping on.. Love your Embroidery piece and I am a new devotee to your blog.. Letz face it when I am economically challenged is when my work is at itz best, cause I have to be creative with what I use too! Being poor is a state of mind and has nothing to do with mula! My head space says I am rich, after all I do live in the US of A....
And reusing anything for creative endeavor is da bomb! Love the book btw!

JafaBrit's Art said...

Hiay shanti, and thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment :)

O said...

*Scratching my head*

I really am not sure why there is any ambiguity when the group name is actually a play on a racial slur that has strong class implications. Article with links here if you are interested:

JafaBrit's Art said...

O,thankyou for your link. the ambiguity stems from a cultural difference. I am not dismissive of the concerns, I did read the links. I didn't grow up in this country and didn't experience crafts as being racially or socially divisive. Since the racial term that concerns people isn't one I grew up hearing, or being used, I didn't see the connection. I just saw a play on the word knit.

Guerilla Embroidery said...

this is really interesting - who would have thought that the yarnbombing would have created such a fuss?!keep up the great work