13 June 2016

Briswool 2016

Hello there. I've been out and about yet again (I do still crochet honest!). On Saturday I headed over the bridge to catch the last weekend of Briswool.
Briswool is a project started/organised by Vicky Harrison of Bristol's The Paper Village. I first encountered Vicky a couple of years back when I stumbled upon her amazing shop, which is just around the corner from my best mates house. She's an amazing woman whose passion for crafts just pours out. As soon as she let me know that Briswool was having a major exhibition I knew I would end up going......now prepare to have your mind blown!
Briswool is basically a community project that Vicky organised where members of the public and the Paper Village staff (including Vicky herself) knitted or crocheted iconic buildings or features of the Bristol landscape.
Vicky is the creative genius that, as well as organising the project, assembled it into one cohesive installation. She also ran many workshops and provided inspiration so that knitters and crocheters of all skill levels could help contribute towards the project. The level of detail was incredible, and from first glance you can only wonder at the amount of time it must have taken to put it all together.
One of the things that really impressed me was when you looked at some of the more famous Bristol landmarks like the Clifton suspension bridge or the row of colourful houses (they probably have a specific name). As impressive as they are by themselves, you also can't help but notice all the work that went into things like the trees, the patchwork grass, and the sculptural elements that accentuate the hill and the gorge.
In fact the level of detail over the whole project was spectacular. The boats, cars and hot air balloons were so unbelievably cute. The smallest touches were often what really spoke to people. I talked to my friend who had also seen the exhibition, and he also commented that the little cars and bikes were some of his favourite parts. There was also lots of 'in-jokes' and special touches for the locals, such as the Bristol crocodile, the whale, a Gromit statue and the graffiti Bee, to name just a few.
Being a community project, Vicky also did an excellent job at appealing to the wider public, not just to us craft geeks. There was a specific area to sit and knit and crochet, a sample board where you could touch certain pieces of work (which was very popular with kids), a collection of pieces that hadn't made it into the final landscape, and a huge balloon-themed comment board. You could see from the general crowd that was going to see the exhibition that it had something to offer to all kinds of people.
Even some of the buildings which, when you think about it, could quite easily have been kept relatively simple, were embellished with such intricacy that you could spend ages looking at each one. You would be looking and then all of a sudden spot the tiny Bristol zoo sign, or the delicately embroidered numbers on the clock face.
There was something about the house above in particular that really impressed me. I struggle to put my finger on what it is exactly, but to me everything about it just seems so perfect.
Briswool appears to have been an amazing success by all accounts. Vicky, her team, and all those who contributed should truly be proud of themselves. I'm sure we'll see many more huge creative projects from Vicky in the future, but it'll certainly be hard to top this. My photo's can't even do the scale of this project justice, it really was a mammoth piece of work. Vicky - I raise my glass to you!

Oooooh, but now it's done, who knows if and when it'll see light again. Well, if you're after another reason to head to Bristol (not that you need a reason, it's an awesome city and you can always head over to The Paper Village and support Vicky and her team by buying some crafty goodness or doing a workshop), there is also another really interesting exhibition on at the moment.

Art From Elsewhere is an exhibition showing the work of 32 artists from 22 countries and is being shown in The Arnolfini and The Bristol Museum & Art Gallery
'Sleeper 2, 3 & 4' C-print photographs by Yto Barrada (b.1971, Paris)
The exhibition describes itself as 'addressing life, politics and identity in a globalised society'. Personally I found it to be a really interesting mix of different styles of work with varying strengths of messages. 
'A Ton of Tea, 2007' Compressed Pu-erh tea by Ai Wei Wei (b. 1957, Beijing)
The Exhibition is on until 17th July and I'd thoroughly recommend checking it out. I really enjoyed going across to both galleries and having a full day out getting my wool and art fix....of course followed by a night out in the pubs!

That should be enough to keep you going for now, until next time....peace out! x


  1. Thanks for you story. I love the project.

  2. Thank you for this lovely writeUop.I may need peeps to crochet more foliage over the a summer and we have some new projects so if anyone wants to get involved please do contact me ...thanks so much for this write up 23,721 people visited x

  3. Thank you for this lovely writeUop.I may need peeps to crochet more foliage over the a summer and we have some new projects so if anyone wants to get involved please do contact me ...thanks so much for this write up 23,721 people visited x