Friday, 22 February 2008

christien meindertsma (knit)

The sheep pictured above is called Smudge - aka no. 006. Smudge (006) has her own passport because she was lucky enough to be involved in a project with the Dutch artist Christien Meindertsma.
Working with a farm in Wales, Meindertsma made items of clothing from each sheep. One sheep's wool, one item. Meindertsma met the sheep and each item is respectfully accompanied by said sheep's ear tag, his or her biography and any prizes or awards the sheep might have won. There is therefore an intimate relationship with the processes at each stage of the making of the pieces. She gives us a connection with the source of the item, respect for the craft and the animal.
Meindertsma is also well-known for the stunning creation of the giant hand knitted rug pictured below.
The rug was hand knitted using enormous custom made needles. The rugs are commissioned by the number of sheep used in their making. If you go to her website you'll find some lovely old instructions for sheering sheep, spinning wool and knitting.
So what's the pig connection? Well. Christien has now moved onto another brilliantly clever project. This is her book - the fascinating and true story of pig 05049.Here are all the parts pig 05049 was divided into...

Her book follows the journey of those parts - how they were used and how far they travelled.

Having also shown equal ingenuity with her photographic projects, whichever subject Christien Meindertsma approaches, she applies clarity of thought, and executes each project with respect and precision. The respect I speak of is of time, connection, patience. The obvious love of the sheep and the important wool they provide for us, not just for her knitted pieces but every day in so many other ways.

With regard to the journey of the pig, it makes us reflect, surprises us... makes us question the demands we put on that animal. Is it impressive and ghoulishly fascinating or does it upset us?

There is great dignity to these little digs in the ribs that she gives us. Is it because of her obviously genteel 'slow movement' techniques? Whatever the subject might be, we don't feel shocked or scandalised. We are courteously asked by a careful artisan, prompting us to simply admire her beautiful work then to quietly answer the questions it raises in our own time.

3 comments:

L.Cerre said...

I read that slow article as well. so good. so cool. slow design is where it's at!

Kerry Mosley said...

thank you - thank you muchly for this link. I work with large knitting needles too but with wire not wool and have been looking for other knitting artists. I'll be back for more links soon.

dell said...

thanks for sharing this, those big needles rock...