• But Freddie’s a boys' name, and boys don’t knit

Robins, Freddie, 2015, Conference or Workshop, But Freddie’s a boys' name, and boys don’t knit at (Dis)identifications: Gender Matters in Practice, ICA, London, UK, 27 May 2015.

Abstract or Description:

My name has always been at odds with my gender. I have always enjoyed the way that it catches people off guard:
“Hello, can I speak to Freddie Robins please?”
“Yes you’re speaking to her.”
“Oh (pause) I thought you were going to be a man.”

My name is gendered as male, in stark contrast to my creative practice, which is gendered as female. I knit. When I meet people for the first time the conversation often goes something like this:

“What do you do?”
“I’m an artist”
“What do you do? Paint?”
“No, I knit”
“Oh (silence)”

Knitting has long held associations with women, practicality, comfort and warmth. Women’s busy fingers never resting, justifying sitting down and watching TV, or more recently a fashionable activity to undertake in public, social settings; Stitch ‘n Bitch clubs and Yarn Bombing. I do none of these things. I spend my time in a studio knitting alone, dedicated and designated time to knit, knitting inherently useless things. Knitting is my way of interpreting, communicating and coming to terms with, the world that I inhabit. It sits between me, and my internal world, and the physical world around me, like some form of knitted comfort or rather discomfort blanket. My knitting practice questions conformity and notions of normality. I use knitting to explore pertinent contemporary issues of the domestic, gender and the human condition. My work subverts these preconceptions and disrupts the notion of the medium being passive and benign.

The paper was presented at (Dis)identifications: Gender Matters in Practice at the ICA, London, UK on 27 May 2015. The conference was organized by CREATE/feminisms, a research cluster in the School of Art and Design, Middlesex University as an element of the partnership between the School of Art and Design and the ICA.

OriginatorKokoli, Alexandra
OriginatorDormor, Catherine
Subjects: Other > Social studies > L200 Politics > L210 Political Theories > L216 Feminism
Other > Social studies > L300 Sociology > L320 Gender studies > L321 Women's Studies
Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art
Creative Arts and Design > W700 Crafts
Creative Arts and Design > W700 Crafts > W710 Fabric and Leather Crafts > W711 Needlecraft
School or Centre: School of Design
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2018 15:12
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2018 15:48
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/3209
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