Platform for Art is proud to present an exhibition of work by students from Wimbledon College of Art in collaboration with Morden Women’s Institute.
Ten students at the college run a weekly knitting club. This body of work narrates a series of encounters between the artists’ club and members of the local WI. It is an exploration of the resurgent craft of knitting as a social activity, a context for engagement and exchange.
The joint workshops were occasions for chatting, sharing advice, techniques and patterns – and debating matters of taste – while working on a single project.
The knitting shown here resulted from a making process where each piece was passed through the circle, with each person contributing only a segment. The resulting knitted lengths are a detailed physical chart of the time the groups spent together: varied fabrics that blend the decisions, conversations, skills and and accidental stitches of the knitters.
Conversations that occurred during the meetings have been transcribed as textual drawings. Handwritten utterances curl and loop in continuous lines that suggest the knitted stitch, describing the progress of the project. At the centre of the installation, photographs of each knitter’s hands show the circle members engaged in their work.
In this exhibition handmade textiles, spoken word and activity come together in a project that embraces cooperation, interaction, craft and experiment.
In October 2007, the knitting club will give a live performance in the shop windows, arising from and building upon the ideas encapsulated in this project. It will also draw on research into London Underground’s historical involvement with knitting as part of the war effort.
This project has been developed in a partnership with the Engine Room at Wimbledon College of Art and Platform for Art’s participatory programme, which provides unique opportunities for artists and London’s diverse community to participate in producing bespoke art for stations.
“The partnership with Platform for Art has been a fantastic opportunity for these two groups – the art students and ladies from Morden WI – to work together. We are thrilled that the results of the project exhibited at the station are as engaging visually as the whole process has been for those of us involved!”
Hayley Skipper, The Engine Room, Wimbledon College of Art
Janet Burchell, Sarah Colman, Isobel Dunhill, Sophie Goldthorpe, Aileen Harvey, Barney Heywood, Grace McMurray, Shyama Persaud, Martina Volfikova, Tomoko Yamaguchi.
Morden Women’s Institute participants
Jean Alexander, Myrtle Bloomfield, Audrey Evans, Janis Fitch, Margaret Humberstone, Jean Marshall, Beatrice Bruce-Mitford, Joan Poulter, Audrey Shaw, Joan Sheen, Anne Willson.
Find out more about Wimbledon College of Art and the Engine Room.