Monday, 10 May 2010

Political protest turns to the radical art of knitting

Hand Knitted Hand Grenade, Rachael Matthews

Once a devalued craft, knitting is now taking on capitalism, consumerism and war.

Needles are flying: the guerrilla knitters are here.

An exhibition at the Crafts Council Gallery in London next month will show that knitting - long belittled as the preserve of elderly ladies declining towards senility - has become a politically engaged, radical artform.

One artist constructs intricate, two-metre-high knitted panels based on prostitutes' calling cards. Another knits balaclavas and photographs people wearing them around New York. There is even a group of activists that stages knit-ins on the London Underground, occupying a carriage and knitting around the Circle line.

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