“Fine craft is equal parts tradition and innovation, passion and obsession, filtered through the skills and the sensibilities of artisans. Making craft is a form of thinking, a communication across generations. Artisans working on PEI respond to the theme of “creative obsessions” with innovative works drawing on craft traditions to mark Craft Year 2020.” https://confederationcentre.com/exhibitions/creative-obsessions-a-look-at-contemporary-craft-in-prince-edward-island/
I had three pieces in this exhibit at Confederation Centre of the Arts Gallery, Charlottetown, PEI, August 2020 to January 2021.
“Oh, I could knit that!!!”….. I am constantly seeing things in the landscape that I would love to knit. I’ve been knitting since childhood and find the repetitive movement and the automaticity helps keep me focused on other things going on around me. (The only time I don’t knit is when I’m driving.)
Traditionally, knitters create functional pieces for protection and comfort: sweaters, hats, mittens, socks, long underwear. In this time of climate crisis, however, knitters are uniquely positioned to use their needles to help spread social, political, and environmental messages.
Beach Blanket is the story of how our beaches give us great pleasure and comfort and that we also have a responsibility to protect them.
How many wrappings move through our households – with many of them heading to the landfill? For each month of 2020 wrappings were saved and coiled int basket forms, mostly in the order in which they were discarded.
The pieces tell a story of my consumption. Since the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic in March there are more wrappings from inline shopping, more The Handpie Company handpies consumed, a trial with Chefs Plate to add some variety to my meals, and a few other interesting over consumption of things.
This project has also given me the opportunity to create different forms with coiling with each month being a different shape, often reflecting the impact of the pandemic during that month.
Coiling is an ancient basketry technique. It’s been exciting to use it with present day message.
We are in a global climate crisis. Plastic and the production of plastic is severely impacting the environment. Climate change is wreaking havoc on our polar regions.
Discarded plastic packaging has been crocheted with fishing line using fish scale stitch to create chunks of spring ice that would normally move down from the Arctic.
photo credits: Beach Blanket – Maggie Henry; Wrapped – Maggie Henry, Louise Vessey; Spring Ice- Maggie Henry