Monday 14 July 2008

Joana Vasconcelos - crochet and the visual arts

I'm using this week to feature a number of artists who predominantly use crochet as part of their creative work and production. This means that crochet no longer stays in the home but presents itself as a fantastically sculptural and thought-provoking medium. The Crochet Coral Reef certainly shows one aspect of the dimensional quality of crochet and these artists this week show another more wide-ranging view. From the natural world to the surreal, this is what I really love about crochet's uses. There's no end to it's abilities if you take all these elements together.
Enough babbling, let's get started. Today is the turn of the Parisian born Joana Vasconcelos from Portugal. I first discovered her on the wonderfully informative blog, Craftystylish, which featured her work. Joana speaks of the universal quality of crochet, she can recognise Mexican crochet from Portugese, but what fascinates her more is democratising the craft and making it global. The objects become the message whether it's fashion, music, popular culture or whatever. One of her quotes I particularly love is when she was exhibiting and a curator remarked on the kitsch quality within her work (I disagree) saying that the crochet works were 'no good' as they were not 'works'. Her reply was 'Perfect. That's just what I wanted.'
Her works and philosophy are thoroughly covered by her website, which is incredibly comprehensive. There are images of all her collections, many of which make use of crochet.
Her attitude to crochet is that of a painter and his work, “Hand-craft gives you three things: time, repetition, and then, when things are repeated over and over again, they become abstract." and again, "I select them and put them together as if I were drawing." She wants us to get away from thinking that crochet is on a narrow spectrum of creativity - fashion, craft or hobby - and I love this pushing of the frontiers of crochet.Please do visit Joana Vasconcelos' website and enjoy the images I've chosen to inspire you.


Lorie McCown said...

delightful in every way, love it.

Bee Creative said...

Yes, it really is inspiring work!!