In the decade since I co-organised with Linda Newington the first In the Loop conference the profile of knitting has arguably expanded, but also maintained certain unspoken boundaries. This keynote lecture, Challenging Knitting, aims to both be about knitting that speaks to the political challenges of the past decade, as well as present a challenge to knitting research. Examples of knitting that deal with topics such as immigration, racism and violence will be considered, including work by artists Kate Just (Australia/USA), Cat Mazza (USA), Mary Sibande (South Africa), Christian Thompson (Australia), Patricia Waller (Germany), Xu Jiang & Yuan Liujun (China) and The Knitting Map Project directed by Jools Gilson (Ireland). But alongside an acknowledgement of knitting that takes on challenging topics, this lecture is also intended to challenge those who research, create and speak about knitting to reconsider if sufficient breadth of perspectives are currently welcomed into contemporary discourse about knitting.
home page & above image: Cat Mazza Labor Sister Sampler. Further project information here.