Sunday, October 14, 2007

I went to a flower festival and saw some beanies

Last Sunday I went to Floriade to look at the flowers.

Then I went again on Wednesday to get a look at those beanies. A touring exhibition from the Alice Springs Beanie Festival was one of the attractions at Floriade. I read about the festival in an earlier issue of Yarn magazine and thought it sounded fantastic.

I really loved this exhibition. I knew I wanted to see it, but I didn't necessarily expect to find it so inspiring. The beanies were made by indigenous women and whitefellas from many parts of Australia, and a few from overseas too (Japan). The majority were crocheted, often with 3 or 4 strands of something like 8ply held together - obviously a useful technique in the speed beanie contests that are part of the festival. There were many felted and mixed media beanies, and a few knitted ones too. I loved the range of techniques and subjects, from simple, symbolic, figurative, whimsical, and comical. It was obvious that the beanie festival doesn't take itself too seriously, though the organisers are certainly proud of the way it brings people together, and highlights and promotes (mostly women's) textile work.

This beaded beanie was made by nuns - the Little Sisters of Jesus in Yuendumu, in the Northern Territory.


Michelle said...

Those beanies were fantastic, weren't they? I was so inspired. And yay! For Crochet!

Donna Lee said...

I love collections of women's art. It is always so visceral. It's like women just look at the whole world differently, but then again, we do.