PROtest

A few weeks ago Kate Just – contemporary artist, Academic, Craftivist and all around awesome and insipering lady – invited me to help her out during Melbourne’s Craft Cubed Festival. As a part of the ‘Craftivism’ day of the festival on monday the 4th of August Fed-square Kate decided that instead of just showcasing her work she was going to get people to make one-word-protest badges in response to some of her more recently socially engaged knitting practice.

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I happily volunteered to assist and promised I would make a banner for our table, which I did! Taking inspiration from her one-word-protest agenda I created a quilted hanging that reads “PRO TEST” and has a quote on it by Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel. Many people percieve the word protest and the action of protesting negatively however Kate’s work demonstrates the power of positive-protesting using language that unites people together around common values. I really admire that about her practice and hope that my work too will communicate the idea that protesting is a productive act and an important part of being a citizen in any democratic society. Here is a photo of our table and a detail shot of the quilt:

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The day was really great – we made heaps of badges with people. More importantly however, with each badge that was made a conversations was had between us and total strangers who sat down with us to make. We talked about what people were passionate about, what it was that they stood for and what message they wanted to share with the world. Perhaps the most popular protest words of the day were ‘hope’ and ‘love’ but the most original was definitly ‘boob’ and ‘food’ by a breastfeeding advocate. I made two badges for myself which read ‘make’ and ‘care’ and I also made one for my housemate which said ‘cake’ and has apparently been getting lots of positive comments!

Here is Kate and I on the day:

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Finally, I also wanted to mention that on the next table over from us was artist Sayraphim Lothian who’s work I found really inspiring and who was super lovely to boot! you can check her out at: http://sayraphimlothian.com

… There is plenty more Craftivism to come, so watch this space

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