In recent years, knitting and crocheting artists are using the medium to define social and political views, showcase popular trends, and express creative inspiration. Oft looked on as “women’s work”, the art is morphing into a common way to showcase the passions and moods of the creators. Let’s look at three artists whose unique designs have caught attention on the national level.
The New York-based designer, called simply Olek, is known for her subliminal and overt political messages. Olek leaves no doubt about her affiliations with bold, artistic statements. Her trademark thread is recognizable through the city, as the artist creates feminist and anti-racism messages on public walls. The artists work delves into social issues, including women’s rights and free speech.
Jim Drain knits and embroiders, creating pieces that combine technology and culture. His sweaters reveal intricate patterns, showcasing video games, trends, and multimedia into knitted art. His unique take on mixed-media art embraces diverse, psychedelic colors in textiles.
Blending multiple textile disciplines to create influential, artistic pieces is a newer practice. It’s part of a cultural shift, as artists use knitting or crocheting to make bold statements and influence broader audiences.