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Olek’s Crochet Installation: Russia’s Pride

Olek, a crochet installation artist who will be showing with Shooting Gallery in February, 2014, has certainly had a busy summer traveling around the world and bringing her bright yarn creations with her. She sent us some great links this week which we just had to share! Take a moment to indulge your wanderlust with a link tour of the artist’s latest:

All We Need is Love and Money - an 80 foot crocheted fence in Brooklyn. Olek also worked with Alice Mizrachi on a collaborative mural for Ad Hoc Wellington Court block party Street Art jamboree in Queens.

The Animal Ball in Lancaster House in London- Olek contributed work to the fundraiser for conservation projects across Asia to help endangered animals, which raised over 600,000 euros.

A stop in Poland resulted in an entire train covered in her bright crocheted camouflage.  And coming back to the U.S.  Olek made a trip to San Francisco and joined Absolut’s Open Canvas project and covered Doggie Diner’s Dogs in rainbows of yarn.

For her final installation of the summer, Olek traveled to St. Petersburg, Russia, where her crochet creations, Russia’s Pride (featured in High-Fructose) were used to spread a message of love, equality, and tolerance  as a statement against Russia’s anti-gay laws. Watch the artist at work on the powerful piece in the video above.

More after the jump.

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 Photos: Huffington Post

“The beauty of public art is that it speaks to everyone. The ordinary person is able to experience and take something from it, even if only a smile. The truth is that most people here do not smile. I went to a supermarket to buy some water, red bulls, and sauerkraut. I like looking at people; their faces tell so much. It breaks my heart to see so many people just staring at the ground, dreamless, sad, not thinking about the future that they might have if they would only open their hearts and eyes. I may not be able to change it with a single installation, but I will plant a seed.

I believe my work speaks on its own. It is clear: sometimes words, sometimes colors, sometimes both. Will they see it? Or will the camouflage hide the true shape of its meaning? Or will a people, blindfolded by their leaders, be able to shed their blinders and see clearly that freedom only exists when all are free, to speak, to protest, to act, and to love?

In New York City I created the camouflage pattern. I transformed the human form into a new species. Once a person enters the crocheted skin, their race, color, ethnicity, even sexuality become irrelevant, camouflaged; they are transformed into citizens of Olek’s world, where everyone is free.

My camouflage, hand-crocheted rainbow stands for love, freedom, friendship, independence, liberty, ability to pursue dreams, integrity, and equal rights.

“Homesexuality is not a sickness.” A man holding this sign in St. Petersburg was arrested.

I am here to support the rights of all people, our freedom to be whoever we want to be, who we truly are, to love whomever we choose and marry whomever we love.

Inequality is not in my vocabulary.” – Olek via Huffington Post

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2 Comments so far

  1. [...] but instead I am sitting and crocheting my life into the pieces.” In her latest work, Russia’s Pride, Olek covered a shopping mall front with her famous camouflage in rainbow colors, spreading the [...]

  2. [...] and promote ideas of community and equality. An example of this can be seen in an earlier post about her work Russia’s Pride as a statement against Russia’s anti-gay laws. Along with her [...]

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