Hanna Holmgren’s Crochet Universe Exists Without Purpose and That’s Okay …

Hanna Holmgren’s Crochet Universe Exists Without Purpose and That’s Okay …

“There’s something rebellious about indulging in a time-consuming craft without it requiring purpose and utility.”

Yes! I’m going to remember this sentiment next time I see a complaint about yarn bombing’s wastefulness and how it serves no purpose. This is not true, of course, but even if it were true, why is yarn-based art often the target of such hostility? For me it’s a feminist question. When I come across complaints about yarn art, I’m reminded that yarn is still very much viewed as a craft material, as opposed to one for art, and crafting is often still thought of as women’s domain.

Let’s put it this way, do you think an artist like Jeffrey Koons would ever be asked, “why do you waste so much stainless steel when it could be used for cutlery, medical implants, or building materials for those less fortunate?” It’s easy to see how absurd the question is when it’s applied differently. No one would ever even think to ask Koons such a question in the first place.

A variation on this theme, Holmgren’s recent installation, “Material, Time and Space”, exists at the intersection of drawing and textiles and challenges the prejudiced expectations that are still imposed on textile art in general, but not at all directed against drawing.

Hanna Holmgren's Crochet Universe

Hanna Holmgren's Crochet Universe

Hanna Holmgren's Crochet Universe

Read more about Hanna’s work at Volym (in Swedish) and visit her web site at http://www.hannaholmgren.se.

:: Photographs by Geson Rathnow ::


About The Author


Danielle Holke is a long-time knitter, first taught by her beloved grandmother as a young girl growing up in Canada. In 2008 she launched KnitHacker, a lively blog and knitting community which has since grown to be a popular presence in contemporary knitting culture, reaching more than a million readers each year. As a marketing professional, Danielle advises and works with a motley squad of artists, yarn bombers, film makers, pattern designers, yarn companies and more. Learn more about her latest book, Knits & Pieces: A Knitting Miscellany.

1 Comment

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    There is something very interesting also in the way in which middle-class Victorian women made ‘useful’ but pointless and often repetitive and ugly pieces of crochet and embroidery just to pass the tedious hours. Similarly young Victorian women were trained to paint and draw and play music purely with the idea of exhibiting themselves as good prospects for marriage, rather than viewing arts or crafts a pursuit of beauty, intellectual or artistic expression. Crochet, embroidery, knitting and weaving have all evolved into art forms and moreover fun! All the very best from France, Sue


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