Social Knitwork

Bath Spa students hoping to ‘knit together’ communities through their Social Knitwork art project.

Friday, 7 May, 2021

Knitting transforms a line into a network of multiple connections, according to artist and MA Fine Art student Lou Baker.

She’ll be working with Kat Dawe Schmeisser, who is studying MA Curatorial Practice, to create Social Knitwork – an opportunity to bring together local communities after the extended isolation of lockdown.

Kat is also a Curator and Arts Producer at The Art Cohort in Bath – together they’re creating a web-like installation in The Art Cohort Exhibition Space, effectively drawing in space with wool.

To make sure anyone can join in, Kat and Lou have also set up an ‘Imagination Station’ where art materials will be accessible to the public at The Art Cohort throughout the exhibition.

“We've been very touched by the response to Social Knitwork so far,” Lou said. “People of all ages have joined in enthusiastically, making something to add to the installation, either in the exhibition space or using our 'Imagination Station'. Some have written labels and all are keen to talk. We've had laughter, tears and so many thoughtful conversations.”

She will be in residence during the exhibition, knitting and adding to the installation which will develop throughout the month inside the Artspace, so that visitors will see the installation grow like an organic body day by day.

Alongside the installation in the Exhibition Space, several outdoor installations will be set up in Bath near to The Art Cohort. One of these installations will be situated in a tree at the front entrance to Bath Spa’s Locksbrook Campus.

The Bath Spa community, members of the public, walkers, families, neighbours and passers-by are invited to physically add their thoughts and objects to the installations the next time they pass that way or send messages virtually via social media.

The location of the external installations will enable a walking tour of these temporary art installations. The exhibition will run from 1 May - 7 June 2021 and you can keep updated on the project through Lou’s blog series, Social Knitwork, Day by Day.

A map showing the locations of Social Knitwork installations

To support them with Social Knitwork, Kat and Lou received funding from Bath Spa’s Harbutt Fund which was established to support current and future Bath Spa students. Discussing the reach of the project and the impact of the funding, Lou said:

“People have posted images of the outdoor installations on social media and we've had messages from Bath and Barcelona. We're very grateful for the generous award from The Harbutt Fund as it's enabled us to not only buy materials for the project but also to give 'Imagination Station' packs of art materials to local families via The Nest Project.”

A programme of free virtual events will take place alongside the exhibition and both the public and Bath Spa community are encouraged to join. You can find out more information about these events on The Art Cohort’s website.

If you would like to support more projects like this, you can make a donation to the Harbutt Fund by visiting our donations webpage.

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