Fri. Jun 14th, 2024

Arts North West is all set to launch its Yarn Bombing project in Armidale this weekend as part of the Big Chill Festival on May 18 and 19. 

Yarn bombing involves knitting or crocheting material into ‘Yarn Bombs’ and decorating objects or structures in public places as a form of community street art. 

Speaking to the New England Times, Arts North West Executive Director Lauren Mackley said Yarn Bombing has become an increasingly popular way to brighten up locations in the community, and Armidale will officially become part of that at the Big Chill.

“A couple of the trees throughout the festival will be yarn bombed. People can come to our pop up workshop spaces and learn how to knit and crochet small squares, then on Sunday, we will be doing the big install; everyone is welcome to come along,” she said. 

“If you like knitting, want to learn, or want to be part of a community lead project, it’s a lot of fun, it’s very easy, laid back, and an interesting process to part of.” 

Lauren said there will be four key stages: creating, collecting, arranging, and installing. Anyone can donate small patches of knitting or crocheting, and all those pieces are combined for installation in a public place. 

At the moment, there are two main donation stations in Armidale: Get Framed Armidale & The Gallery and Booboocks. Both are on Beardy St. Anyone can drop off granny squares, knitted items, attempted projects, or unwanted yarn. The donation stations are also a space to pick up yarn and knit an item for the project. 

Yarn Bombing Across the New England 

There have already been instances of Yarn bombing in other areas of New England, such as the glow in the dark yarn at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, a Diabetes Awareness tree on the Moree Hospital grounds, the Narrabri Crossing Theatre Pillars and more. 

“We are doing it everywhere, and we love to have been invited to come along to the Big Chill Festival. Anyone can contribute a square and part of a really cool install in a really fabulous festival in our region,” Lauren said. 

“We provide little packages, so throughout the festival, you can listen to these incredible bands, have a bit of knit, do some crocheting, and then come back and be part of the install.” 

Artists and community groups worldwide have used the yarn bombing concept to brighten parks and streets and bring a sense of fun to public spaces. The New England Yarn Bomb project began with Bank Art Museum Moree (BAMM) Education Coordinator and now Arts North West’s Project Officer, Jules Minors

According to Lauren, the success of the original Yarn Bombing project in the Moree Plains Shire has resulted in a collaboration between BAMM and Arts North West to expand into the surrounding 10 LGAs in the North West region. 

“It’s a project we have been doing in Moree and Narrabari for some time; BAMM and Arts North West have taken it to a regional scale,” she said. 

“We’d like to continue doing more projects in Armidale; I don’t think we will stop at just the Big Chill; we will be looking for some other community groups and other places we want to work with, and people want to work with us.” For more information, check out the Arts North West Yarn Bombing Project Page.

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