Art Assignment #10
Make a rug
My grandmother was a hoarder. But mum threw out most of the old fabric. So I used her wool to make a blanket instead.
I was thinking about the concept of randomness. How all natural things came into being unpredictably and without intension. Yet human observation has found a way to categorise and sort the randomness into patterns. We knot things together as though they used the same stitch when made, the same finger knitting technique for the same arbitrary shape. And if I had picked the wool out of the bag in a truly random way it would have looked - to us - like a design, like a predetermined order. And I wanted to avoid that.
So this blanket is formed out of intensional disorder. The strict regime I set myself had one rule: no repetition.
Despite this rule, it’s the same knot over and over again in a (mostly) uniform circle, spiralling outwards. I still carefully selected only acrylic wool. And when I take it out of the house, I am repeatedly asked the same question: “How long did it take?” and I repeatedly answer the same way: “An inadvisable amount of time, but not as long as you’d think.”
I feel like Schoenberg. His attempt to reinvent music through 12-tone melodies had the same strict ruling: no repetition. Yet if he wanted his music to resonate with audiences he still had to be confined by the standard metre, the standard note values and the standard instrumentation. The same sentimentally meaningless shapes, imbued with the creator’s own sentimental meaning.
Most of the wool was found around my house, some of it found in opportunity shops for 60c a ball and some of it was graciously given to me by friends. The white circle used to be an itchy cardigan that belonged to my mum. And the multicoloured pink wool was left over from a hat my Nana made for me.
Q: “How big are you gonna make it?”
A: “How long is a piece of string?”