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Yarn Bombs on the City Streets

A group of artists is filling public spaces with colourful crochet art

Published: 25th April 2015 06:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th April 2015 06:04 AM   |  A+A-

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QUEEN’S ROAD:A new form of street art has been slowly making its way across the streets of the city.

With many names like yarn bombing, guerilla crocheting and urban knitting, this is a form of street art that employs colourful displays of knitted or crocheted yarn or fibre, rather than paint or other art materials.

Yarn.jpgSmera, a Bengaluru-based fibre-artist, who had encountered this kind of art before at various places abroad, felt it needed to be introduced to the streets of India, when she was abroad studying and travelling. So when she got back to the city, this was the first thing on her agenda.

“A lot of women know how to crochet or knit. But all of them do it within the constraints of their home. Yarn bombing turns these housewives or other women, and even men, into street artists,” she says.

Her creations or yarn bombs were first seen on Church Street, in August 2014. “The great thing about yarn bombs is that they don’t harm the environment they’re in, nor are they permanent. You can easily take off the yarn bomb and multi-purpose it for some other place or use,” she says.

Now Smera, along with Kavita Arora (who organises Bangalore Design Evenings at BeaglesLoft), wants to build a community of enthusiasts, professionals and artists to construct public art from yarn. The two of them met at one of the design evenings, at BeaglesLoft.

Yarn bombing the streets of Bengaluru

“Kavita had heard about the yarn bombing that I had done at MG Road and had been on the look out for me. Our paths finally crossed at the textile design workshop, and this happened,” says Smera.

Kavita convinced Smera to teach her crocheting, and put forth the idea that a larger community needs to be built around the concept. The first such meeting happened a couple of weeks ago, at Paradigm Shift, a vegan cafe and activist centre, in Koramangala.

About eighteen people turned up at this first event. “Four of us knew how to crochet, and we went about teaching the rest. Whatever was made on the day was used to yarn bomb the area around Paradigm Shift,” she says.

The next community meet happens today, from 2 to 4 pm, at Starbucks, Indiranagar. People who want to join just need to show up. They’ll be supplied with crochet hooks and yarn. Newcomers are encouraged to join.

To take the art form to other cities as well, Smera is taking up a two-month solo drive around the country.

“I will be visiting various cities across India, starting with Chennai, and talking to people abut yarn bombing,” she says.

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