If you’ve never heard of yarn bombing before here’s a proper intro: decorating the Andy Warhol bridge in Pittsburgh in yarn. Lots of it. The project Knit the Bridge aims to increase the sense of community in Pittsburgh. To do this they get together 2000 people to knit and install this massive installation on the Andy Warhol/7th street bridge in Pittsburgh. Art can play an important role in communities. Not just the art itself, but also the creation of it. In several yarn bombing projects people within communities are brought together to increase the inner ties within the community. It’s a topic lead artist Amanda Gross has been interested in since she was a student. She had majored in art & sociology and later also studied conflict transformation. She learned to question the role of art in social transformation, and understood the potential for art in working towards positive change in communities. Yarn bombing in one way of doing that.
As a mennonite, Amanda has learned to value having a strong sense of community. That not only shows in amount of participants in the Knit the Bridge project. It also shows in the approach. It’s a temporary installation, the yarn bomb can be seen until september 6th. After that, all the yarn panels made will be laundered and donated to several organisations as blankets for homeless for example. The panels that can’t be put to use humans, can be used by animal shelters. So the yarn bomb profits the community in more ways.
A project this size is new for Amanda. New things, new people, not knowing what will happen. ‘It’s part of the creative process’ Amanda explains. Especially with 2000 participants involved you’re not going to know what will happen.
(photo below by Grace Abbs)