ISSN 2207-001X March 2017
Kerrie Argent’s entry in Sculptures by the Sea at Cottesloe Beach in Perth, Western Australia, is created from recycled jumpers (sweaters) donated from friends in Esperance, Albany, Perth and Lake Grace.
Kerrie, a member of The Western Australian Fibre & Textile Association (WAFTA), lives in Lake Grace 345k (214 miles) south east of Perth. Here is what she had to say about her 2017 installation:-
“I’m actually trying to make us think about better use of our textiles or a second use …….. the two lots of jumpers received from Esperance and Albany were destined for land fill. People had donated them to charity groups but as most of them were out of fashion or had moth holes or stains on them they couldn’t even be given away … there is no second life for second-hand knitted fabrics … not even the rag bag. *(see Editors note)
All the recycled fabric has had a rust dye put over it to give it the glowing golden tone and neutralise the colour tones so they are all tonal now.
While pulling 4 hand knitted jumpers to bits to recycle the wool for stitching I felt like a criminal – all that beautiful knitting, but again they were thrown out and destined for land fill. So why couldn’t we make homes for the homeless from them like the yurts of the Mongolians instead of mountains of unloved unwanted fashion waste. Australia produces 6000kg of fashion waste every ten minutes.
What started off as my work became a community project when I shifted into the Lake Grace Regional Art Space to use as my studio, a much bigger area. I had friends dropping in to see what I was doing and then offering to help … how can you say no. So it became quite a social event during the day, after work or on weekends, to come stitch, chat and relax. I couldn’t keep them away, one lady drove into town 25 km every day to work on the stitching, and my 87 year old diehard helper I used to have to kick her out in the evenings otherwise she might have forgot to go home and sleep. Our locum Dr came one weekend to help, even bought pancakes and maple syrup for morning tea. And people stuck in town because of the floods ended up coming and stitching to fill in some time. How lucky am I to get all this awesome support, and they had a lovely time doing it.
Here are some images of the project underway ………….
Rubber gloves cut off make great finger protectors and much better grip on needles”
Last of the covers finished with some of my helpers
Covers finished rolled and ready to go
Trailer packed with supports ready for transport to Perth
Installed on Cottesloe Beach
Kerrie said she would be giving artist Spotlight talks to students, if people were interested they could come and listen and if they wanted to talk after she will be there.
The dates for these talks are Thursday 16th 12.00-1.00, and Friday 17th 10.45- 11.45
Kerrie’s also giving a Spotlight talk at 10:30-11:30 Tuesday 7th, however is not available to talk after this session, because she is going to East Butler Primary School to talk to the students as they received one of her cows from the City of Perth Cow Parade, and she’s headed up to see where it’s going to live.
*Editor’s Note: I must introduce Kerrie to rugmaking, where you can make use of old hand knitted sweaters, as you can see by these images; [Images Courtesy Tasmanian Wool Centre]
Sculptures by the Sea is on now until 20th March, 2017 – don’t miss this fantastic Exhibition (and its free)
Think about your next rug hooking project ……… how can you incorporate recycled items?
Happy Hooking – Jo Franco, Editor