Olek is an artist who crochets in innovative ways and now she’s in London. Qype spoke with her about her work and what she’s doing in this city – apart from yarn-bombing our black cabs!
How did you come to use crocheting as your medium?
Obviously I wasn’t thinking when I opened this page of my book!
It is very boring, lonely, and feels almost never ending. Fortunately, I love watching movies and they help me work for the many countless hours I need to complete a project. I actually believe I continue to use crochet as my artistic expression because it allows me to do two things at once: watch moving and make art!
I started to crochet while writing my university thesis “Symbolism of costumes in films by Peter Greenaway”. The thesis was the starting point of crocheting & film for me but I actually only realized this insight a couple of years ago when I re-read it.
Greenway’s references to Vermeer and Velazquez, the ideas of transforming old into new, and observing that everything was at some point previously made, continue to influence how I perceive art. I believe that we have to learn how to recreate and transform the world into art, and art into our world.
The last movie I saw in 2000 before I left Poland was “Blade Runner.” In 2010, I created a piece influenced by this film. I covered a 16 mm film projector with the VHS tape of this movie while I was watching it on DVD. I was crocheting the shiny, noise making material and replaying the DVD until I finished the new skin for the projector.
The movies I watch while I crochet influence my work, and vice versa.
Where is your ideal place to show/create street art and why?
NYC. You simply cannot make street art in the place you do not know.
What is your favourite work you’ve created?
The one that exists only in my head and yet to me materialized in yarn!
What are your favourite places to visit in London?
I can tell you more about places not to visit in London… but some other time.
So far I am enjoying sightseeing London on the Boris bikes I spend most of my time on.
What did you do on your most recent trip to London
I’ve crocheted London taxi!
Which artists do you suggest we pay attention to/exhibitions you suggest we see?
Olek opens a new solo show in January in Tony’s Gallery. Till then, just sleep and stay warm.
All images provided by Olek