A photo essay of sorts today.
As I was walking to the train station the other day I noticed that a number of street poles had been “graffitied” with woollen socks. How delightful! Just the thing to brighten the day: completely harmless, yet radical, street art.
A friend of mine Andrew had blogged about this sort of thing happening in the Newtown area. There was also the impressive wool graffiting of the old toilet block at Taylor Square, which has now been sadly taken down (The wool graffiti, not the toilet block which I understand is Heritage listed. I know it holds many a dear memory for many an old queen who claims it as the place in the where they lost their virginity. Considering the Darlinghurst Court House is right next door you were always guaranteed to see a judge unrobed.). I’d also read about a Brooklyn based group called Knitta Please that perform renegade knit graffiti (see a vid about them here). When I saw the pieces along the street poles of Kings Cross I thought I might have stumbled across the local chapter.
So Saturday, as a procrastination tool to avoid uni work, I pulled out the camera and started snapping along Darlinghurst Street, starting at the Kings Cross train station and heading north.
As I took this picture a woman trying to light the remains of a fag end came up to me. “That’s a god idea that, hey?” she said. “So you don’t scratch your bike. I had a bike and I had a chain, one of those metal ones, but – nah, hang on, that one got stolen, but my next bike, I had the metal chain lock, right, and I covered it with plastic tubing so that way the bike wouldn’t get scratched.” “What a sensible thing to do,” I said, and began to walk slowly away, hoping she wouldn’t breathe on me.
As I was crossing the road a little kid, waiting to cross, was joyfully hugging the woollen pole. She had been pulled across the road by her mother by the time I got my camera ready.
Lo my eyes when I got to Fitrzoy Gardens, and Market Day, and saw that the knitted graffiti was everywhere.
Everyone was taking pictures, portable telephones held high. Mark Trevorrow (aka Bob Downe) was there. We nodded to each other. “It’s wonderful, isn’t it?” I said. “It’s so camp,” he replied.
Always bothers me this signpost. I haven’t consulted an atlas lately but I do remember Rome, Athens and Paris being all roughly in the same direction. Likewise to Singapore, Tokyo and Hong Kong.
Look at that great panel: I Heart Kings Cross. The cross is made up of two knitting needles!
Notice how, in the top right photo, the pigeon is not standing on the the wool but next to it on the bark. Poor pigeons; must feel horrible for them under their little feet. No one ever thinks about the pigeons.
I love how the knittings around the cop house are all shades of blue.
A nice bit of web-work on the completely confusing “Angled Wheels of Fortune” sculpture. According to BC’s edition of Time Out Sydney, the work was made by Polish sculpture Dennis Wolanski to honour the invention of the wheel and the prosperity it has brought to the world. Ohhhhh, I thought when I read this, but it didn’t make its meaning any clearer to me.
The other side was all tied together with a large pom pom. Looked très sweet.
For some reason no one would sit on this seat, not even me. I suppose it’s part of the “art is to be admired from a distance” argument. I will go back and sit on it though, enjoy the feel of the wooly fabric under my legs.
This wonderful art piece was right between the store that does the best bacon and egg rolls in the world and the cute guy who sells gozlemes. I used to be friendly with Brigitte who runs the bakery stand across from the cute guy (her pastry is to die for). She told me once that the cute guy had a just as cute baby. Bugger, I thought.
From the other side of Macleay Street, looking towards the Gardens.
One of the last remaining pom pom trees in public gardens.
After enjoying a bacon and egg roll (you have to try one) I walked the block home. Imagine my surprise / joy when I got to my front door and saw this across the road:
More knit graffiti! You see, I rarely ever use the front door, preferring to come and go via the laneway instead. Look at what I’ve been missing!
A little lesson for me this: by only ever coming and going via the bins and the laneway, I’ve missed the beauty of the path out the front.
It was about now (and 180 photos later) that I started to question the renegade notion of the knit graffiti. They was simply too much of it – wouldn’t someone have noticed? Then I remembered it’s Art & About in Sydney at the moment – a month long festival of street art. All the banners are flying Aboriginal themed works. In Hyde Park hangs a giant photo exhibition. I wasn’t surprised, then, to discover that all this knitting was part of the month long festivities, an installation called I Heart Kings Cross developed by a collective called Reef Knot. Go and read more about Reef Knot, they have done some pretty fantastic things
So if you have the chance come to the Cross and see the work, it’s on all of October. If you come on a Saturday don’t forget to let me know – I’ll join you for a bacon and egg roll.