14 January 2007

Blue Moon

One of the banks did not seem to give much credit (quite literally) to people's passion for hand-knitted socks. To the point of refusing to accept money from Rockin' Sock Club members, set up and run by Blue Moon Fibre Arts - an online yarn store!

It is truly astonishing, and does bring up some thoughts about the patriarchal mindset that seems to predominate in our world. A world which, although it claims to be modern, paradoxically, allows some archaic prejudices to prevail in a subtle yet powerful way.


As Harriet Lane points out in her recent article titled Crafty Work in a February issue of British Vogue

"Certainly, the artists featured here feel it's a good moment to reclaim neglected or overlooked skills and materials, particularly, perhaps, as the use of technology and computer programming seems to have compromised some contemporary art. And just because these artists are using old-fashioned methods, it would be foolish to make old-fashioned assumptions about their work."

A small interjection here: I would go even further in putting forward an argument against viewing crafts associated with women as old-fashioned. They truly are not. Let's take knitting for example. Someone please tell me what is old-fashioned about it? It is a body of theoretical and practical knowledge, which accompanied humans for thousands of years, adapted according to changing needs and fashions and is as pertinent to our lifestyles in the new millennium as it was in ancient Egypt. Perfectly adapted and very much in demand. Same goes for needlecraft, crochet, spinning &c.

Harriet Lane argues that

"Materials associated with women's work or dressmaking, with its heavy freight of political connotations (the drudgery of darning and of making-do at one end of the spectrum and transient, sybaritic frivolity at the other), have never had much currency in the art world."

This appears to stretch a touch beyond the art world, as the Blue Moon story explicitly shows.

Hence art galleries turn up their noses when approached by artists, who choose to use crafts as their medium. And we witness banks turning down people's money because of some fishy crafty associations.

"The change is underway", as Ms Lane put it, and if you need a proof of 'the changing barometer' just have a look at the uproar in the comments on Yarn Harlot's blog (link below).

To read up on the Blue Moon 'scandal' click here.


Sarah said...

The whole bank fiasco was one of those situations which you read about and you just think - surely not...

Like the percentage bars by the way. Good luck with all those projects.

Kendra said...

Your courses look brilliant! I'm sure you will do really well with them. I'll have to tell the girls at my knitting group about them.