WORKSHOP :: Knitty by Nature
September 9, 3-5pm
Join us for an afternoon of naughty knitting, consensual crochet and cracking conversation with local knitaholic Kirsten Fredericks.
Knitting as a social practice over the past fifteen years has become increasingly synonymous with a whimsical yet critical subversion of the technique’s gendered and domestic associations. Offering a unifying exploit for groups of like-minded individuals, the ‘stitch and bitch’ phenomenon exploded with international groups coming together to engage in acts of public knitting and conversing, inspired both by the mundane and the political. Deeply embedded within the revival of the hand made in the face of contemporary consumerism (albeit quickly tangled up with one and the same) and the role of textiles in third wave feminism, knitting, particularly that enacted in regular community sessions, is now part of a rich social ‘fabric’, forging communities, supporting charity driven projects, and facilitating more overt forms of activism, or craftivism, and contemporary art practice.
Kirsten Fredericks runs regular sessions around Sydney ranging from her ‘Beers and Balls’ at Redfern’s favourite watering hole, The Bearded Tit, to revealing the secrets of her naughty knitting to nanas in Waverley Library. Fredericks shares the skills of knitting and crochet and encourages the kind of liberating subversive conversation that flows freely when your hands are busy.
BYO project and materials OR let Kirsten know you are keen to learn new skills with her tools of the trade by registering via Eventbrite HERE
“You crochet WHAT?!” – Joe Public
Fusing kitsch, nostalgia, craft and playful perversity, Sydney-based artist Kirsten Frederick’s creates woolly delights seemingly straight out of a naughty nanny’s craft box. Her phallic creations and crocheted reinterpretations of male and female genitalia amuse and titillate, even shock with their vibrant colours, outlandish shapes and breathtaking array of sizes.
A knitwear designer for 15 years, Kirsten has created one-off couture for Australian labels such as Cohen et Sabine, Vicious Threads and Beauty of Nature, and department store Myer. Challenged by a friend, she knitted a phallus-shaped scarf in 2007. The resulting design was extremely well received and has become her signature piece.
However, as she knitted, Kirsten was deep in thought about creating a phallus that spanned three dimensions. Swapping her knitting needles for a crochet hook, the series of “knots” yielded by crochet gave the artist a more texturally stimulating palette with which to work.
Ten years on with numerous shows ‘in the bag’ and an ongoing curatorial relationship with Michael Reid Gallery and Waverley Council, Kirsten continues to obsessively knit and crochet all manner of botanical and humorous forms that pay homage to the male and female member.