Crochet Coral

Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef

Between June 2008 – March 2009, I worked with the Crafts Council, at the Hayward Gallery, the Royal Festival Hall, The Knitting & Stitching Shows at the NEC, Ally Pally and Harrogate, and then later on at The Stitch & Craft Show at Olympia, to put together the UK Reef of the international crocheted installation of the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef…

I have become hooked into crochet. As a Textile Artist this activity is something I already had in practice, picking up the stitches and following on from my grandma’s legacy, this has gone beyond what is commonly perceived as a feminine handicraft, a hobby of the past or of a quirky, kitche activity to do in the pub with your indie mates. Crochet, knit and other textile techniques are not just a physical activity. Here lies a cognitive exercise, in which thought process develops through the process of making. Crochet has gone into the realm of physics and mathematics, as being a perfect method to create models to express and explain the hyperbolic plane.

hyperbolic plane?… I have become stuck for trying to describe it, yet through making I can show you an example of this one surface that is ever expanding and multiplying in its negative curvature. If mathematics is a language, then in its visual form shows structure and pattern. Using crochet, increasing the number of stitches from the starting point, demonstrates these geometric forms. I have found a connection here, a thread that runs through all my textile work, uncovering a sense of order out of apparent chaos.

The hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef is an international collaboration conceived by The Institute For Figuring bringing together the work of countless people, creating their own crochet models as single elements, brought together as a whole, show a mass of microcosms and macrocosms. The “coral reef” has been exampled for this project to push forward an ecological issue, but when looking at these forms could equally be describing other biological structures.

From its international exhibition at the Hayward Gallery, The Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef, people from the Uk were invited to respond and make their own crochet corals. This response has been so fantastic, that I have become involved in this branching off, to create the UK Reef. In partnership with Denise Quinn, and with support from the Crafts Council I helped sew together and install the crochet display for tour in the Knitting and Stitching Show, during which I taught more people how to crochet. The project grows and spreads as more people get hooked. The future for the growing UK Reef? As more off shoots develop, this craft is becoming viral, watch this space…

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