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  • The Fiction of Function

Robins, Freddie, 2013, Conference or Workshop, The Fiction of Function at In the Loop 3.5: Making Connections, Shetland Museum, Lerwick, Shetland, 31 July - 2 August 2013. (Unpublished)

Abstract or Description:

In the German artist, Rosemarie Trockel’s, (b.1952) pencil drawing, The Wupper Country Club (1989), she draws a girl walking in the countryside uttering the words “We knit what we see!” I find myself now living in the countryside, rarely walking in it and not knitting what I see. I knit what I feel. Knitting is my way of interpreting, communicating and coming to terms with, the world that we inhabit. It sits between me and my internal world and the physical world around me like some form of knitted comfort blanket.

Knitting has long held associations with practical function, the production of garments to keep us warm and comfortable. Like many people I have a desire to own functional, knitted works, but I have no desire to make them. When I was pregnant I was continually being asked what I had been knitting my baby. I had knitted nothing. Guilt got the better of me and she received a jumper, then depression and she received some giant pram trousers. In 1999 I exhibited my series of Odd Sweaters, at the Crafts Council Gallery in London. These sweaters are not garments to be worn but to “visually discuss” ideas about normality and conformity. One visitor to the gallery remarked that it was “such a waste”. Our need to justify objects through function is great, but our actual needs aren’t. Who really needs another jumper, cushion yet alone tea-cosy? Most of us in western society have far more than we need. Function is a fiction in our desire to knit. However the emotional function of knitting is another matter all together.

In this paper I will reflect upon my own knitted works and my use of knitting to explore and communicate my thoughts about perfection, death, motherhood, gender inequality and what it is to be human. Common issues explored through a common art.

Official URL: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/intheloop/
Subjects: Other > Technologies > J400 Polymers and Textiles > J440 Clothing Production > J441 Machine Knitting
Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies > W230 Clothing/Fashion Design > W231 Textile Design
Creative Arts and Design > W700 Crafts > W710 Fabric and Leather Crafts
School or Centre: School of Material
Funders: Shetland Arts, University of Southampton
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2013 14:27
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2013 14:27
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/1370

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