#1. Knit One, Purl One - The Story of a New Zealand Knitting Mother

1. why was this story made into a mural?

 "What does Moving Image mean to you"?: Studio Project, Creative Technology course at Weltec in 2010, Year One.

Knit one, Purl one: I'm curious question behind the mural

Moving Image:

My concept was that old family photos move us though snippets of random thoughts. In a box of old slides I found this photo...these are the thoughts that ran through my head:

"There's myself on the right and my older brother Mike on left. We are both dressed in blue. That's my mum perched on the chair arm. She would have knitted those blue outfits...the cardi and leggings I'm wearing would have been first made for Mike. And then, when he had grown out of these, I would have been dressed in them...back then they were called Hand-Me-Downs. No matter that they were blue. The way we colour associate pink for girls today was not important back then. What was important was making the most out of things, being resourceful...

...so why did mothers, aunties & grannies knit? Yes, because you couldn't just buy everything as cheaply and easily as today. But I think it was because it felt good to wrap your baby up in something warm and soft; something that you had made with your own hands...all those hours and hours of work that will give years and years of comfort.

2. what was the design process (each mural is different):

Memories that came to mind were put into a storyboard. They were separate thoughts - snapshots of a moment - but also they blended together. To communicate these layers of memory, each moment was collaged as an individual panels designed to stand on its own. After recognising each as separate they then combine as one complete artwork.

In exhibition, the viewer is taken on this journey walking passed the separate panels and in doing this, travels the same train of thought as the artist. The viewer is taken from the 2-dimensional (photo) to the 3-dimensional (handcrafted mixed media artwork).

Images (above left):

  • Inspirational family photo taken c.1960-91, Amberley, Canterbury NZ
  • Storyboard plan
  • Final artwork and song (tune: Sing a Song of Sixpence)
  • Proposed exhibition plan
  • Exhibition at Art on the Quay, Kaiapoi (Jan. 2015)
  • Exhibition at Gillian Gallery, Blenheim (May 2015)

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