Whenever we venture from the secret woolly bunker (hidden in an undisclosed London location) we’re never quite sure how our day will turn out. But the BBC’s Britain in a Day project wanted answers. And dagnammit, we were going to try our best to give some.
So we did what we do. We went out into the world with our wool, no plans other than that our sneaky stitched items needed a home, and the urge to create our own little art exhibit somewhere utterly unexpected.
We usually make our way into central London for our yarnstorms, choosing somewhere that our stitching can smack passing tourists and scurrying commuters about the face with its bright colours and smooshy smile. This time we thought we’d try something a little different.
It was also a day of recycling, our Unexpected Artworks from our Tate Britain exhibition had yet to be released into the wild. Now seemed like the perfect time.
Deptford Market is one of London’s hidden wonders and is hundreds of years old. It’s a treasure trove of junk, jewels and jellied eels. A multi-cultural cyclone of stuff in South London, where you can buy anything at all from a rack of billiard balls (complete with frame) to a box of used wigs to, a ship in a bottle (we have in the past purchased all of these).
Deptford is also home to a whole herd of art studios, one of which Deadly Knitshade works from when she’s not at the woolly bunker. You never quite know what you’ll come across on Deptford’s streets.
The Fastener finally released her Crochet Tubes of Tate Colour into the wild to compliment the ‘Street Photography Out on the Wall’ painting based on the photographs on Peter Anderson (part of the annual Deptford X Visual Arts Festival).
Deadly Knitshade’s Stitched Street Art Salute to her graffiti heroes also found its way onto the streets. A plain old brick wall became the backdrop for their purly posing.
And with that we were done. A little bit of woolly wonder added to Deptford’s own wonderful wall. Our very own outdoor exhibition. A Stitched Street Art Show.
We’re not sure what the rest of Britain did in that day, but we were pretty chuffed with how our unplanned yarnstorm turned out.
It was then off to rummage through the market stalls to see if they had any more of those used wigs. You can never have enough used wigs.
Pre-yarnstorm, a market-goer approached the ‘soon to be installed’ pieces and attempted to pull apart Stitched Stik to see if his innards were worth taking home. He was discouraged with a quick explanation that they were art and not rubbish!
During the yarnstorm, a Deptford resident wandered over to ask what on earth we were up to. Once told he loved the idea and insisted we ‘Keep up the good work.’ We did.
The installations lasted an unusually long time for a KTC yarnstorm. Several pieces were still in place over a fortnight later. Woolly hugs to the folks in Deptford for keeping our yarnstorm for so long.
For more on this tale see:
The Fastener’s Setting Free the Paint