The practice of crochet may seem like a rather docile, domestic activity. But nothing could be further from the truth, if one observes how some are using crochet to ‘yarnbomb‘ dull cityscapes, create unique lighting accessories, or even fix pesky potholes.
One could also use crochet to simultaneously animate indoor spaces and pay homage to social activists, as Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos has done in this enormous installation now up in Paris’ oldest department Le Bon Marché. Dubbed Branco Luz (“White as Light”) and “Simone” (in homage to French thinkers Simone de Beauvoir and Simone Weil) the work features an inflatable, sinuous form that is covered with crocheted textiles.
Characterized as a “strange and invasive aerial suspension,” the work measures 100 feet long, 40 feet wide and 30 feet tall. Its organic form appears to embrace and engage with various existing elements in the space, wrapping around the escalators, and hanging its bulbous tentacles down from the high ceilings.
In addition to its crocheted components, the work also incorporates blinking, colour-shifting LED lights, lending the impression that this huge form is glowing of its own accord, almost like an alien organism from another planet.
The installation is part of Vasconcelos’s ongoing series of works grouped under the name of Valkyries, which she describes as “sprawling, sensual creatures” that unlike the Nordic legends, represent “powerful and protective female figures who give humans strength and courage.” The installation will be up in Paris’ Le Bon Marché until March 24; to find out more, visit Joana Vasconcelos and Facebook.
Gorgeous, soft and looking like a living UFO, this enormous work of textile art is brightening up one Paris institution.