Knitting star dust

Space Cloud in progress

A few months ago I met Mel. Mel was on the last leg of her Australian trip after completing a university exchange at ANU and was getting ready to return home to Germany. She studies astronomy, her Australian research focusing on a rare type of variable star called R Coronae Borealis (RCB) stars. The more she spoke about these stars, the more intrigued I became, for RCB stars behave in quite a peculiar way. Every now and then the star ejects a large dust cloud which obscures it from view from earth, making it appear to grow dimmer and then brighter again when the dust has dispersed.

Given my ongoing interest in all things star dust, I had to explore it further.

Now, I will be honest with you, I am not an astronomer. Despite Mel’s excellent explanation attempts, it is highly probable that I will never fully grasp or understand this phenomenon – but for me, this is part of what attracts me to is as a subject. The coming together of scientific data, evidence, numbers and graphs with the sense of mystery and incomprehension of an event so far beyond the realm of the everyday is, in essence, what intrigues me about the experience of the sublime.

Since that first conversation with Mel, I have been working on a soft sculpture space cloud. Progress is slow with a great deal of fine knitting and stitching required. My aim is to incorporate RCB data collected and analysed by astronomers, and use it to create an object that explores the interplay between science and wonder. It’s going to be large, and it’s going to be shiny.

Cosy Art

The grand unveiling… my knitted costumes, installations and drawings have finally made it out of my back pack and into the gallery space. The opening night had a great turn out of enthusiastic participants, dressing up and interacting with the artworks. Thank you so much to everyone who has been involved – whether you were there, dressing up in the costumes on the opening night, modelling the works for me while I was making them, or just giving me emotional support when my hands were aching from too many hours spent knitting. One of the things that I have loved about this project is the fact that it has traveled with me, and that the works have direct connections with all the beautiful people and places that I have encountered along the way. “Cosy” was exhibited at Centrespace Gallery, Bristol, UK.

>>View all artworks for “Cosy” >>

A collection of strange creatures and peculiar experiences

Strange Creatures

Strange Creatures, 2012, Wool, dimensions variable

My first solo show outside of Australia is happening really soon!

Cosy  is an exhibition about love, obsession, the body and knitting. It explores that compulsion to cocoon loved ones in hand made, lopsided jumpers, to wrap someone or something up, to keep it warm and safe even to the point that it can no longer escape or breathe. It explores human interactions, the space between bodies, touch and the sensation of not quite touching. The works play with our ability to perceive the world around us and the people around us. “Cosy” comprises of a series of knitted costumes and installations, and the viewer is invited to interact with the artworks and “inhabit” the costumes.

Opening drinks: Friday 19th October, 2012, 7pm

Exhibition runs: 19th October – 24th October

Centrespace Gallery, 6 Leonard Lane, Bristol. Open Monday – Saturday, 11am – 5pm

Cosy

Cosy - Forest Monster

You Are So Beautiful to Us, 2012, Icelandic wool and glass beads, photograph by Hilary Faye

I am continuing my travels around Europe and my back pack is gradually filling up, not with souvenirs or clothes, but with strange knitted objects and costumes. I have started taking my woolen projects with me where every I know i will have some spare time; buses, train stations and to the pub. While we were in Snowdonia, Wales, my friend Hilary Faye took some  great pictures of me roaming around the forest dressed as a forest monster. The really exciting news is that I now have somewhere to show these works in the UK before I return to Australia.

Cosy will be on show at the Centrespace Gallery in Bristol from the 19th to the 24th of October 2012. Official opening on Friday the 19th at 7 pm. Hope to see you there!