03 September 2018

We could make worlds together - Shambala 2018

Let's be honest... I've been pretty slack on the blogging front this year. But August has been and gone, which meant only one thing....Shambala Festival!!!

I was absolutely over the moon that I got the chance to have a second go at making an installation for the enchanted woods, so this year I went bigger, better, and into the trees with my latest project - 'We Could Make Worlds Together'.

 Much like last time that i did a piece of artwork for Shambala, this took a solid three month's of crochet (I say solid, in my spare time/on my freelance days). I made each of the circular shapes separately and then assembled them all in the last month, using freeform crochet techniques to fill the gaps in between.

My theory behind the shapes was that I wanted to use negative space as part of the piece. My aim was that as you look up at the circles, you would see through them and be able to look at the sky (or stars). I was a little concerned that as it was going to be displayed so high up, that it might not be too obvious that it was crochet - but I needn't have worried! When the sun was shining, the light came through each of the individual gaps between the stitches, creating different effects depending on the time of day.

I was lucky enough to be accompanied by my two best friends this year, who did a fantastic job of helping me get it all set up (I say helping, it was more that I stood back and told them what to do while they did the hard work - oh it's tough being an artist). We got it all up in the air and finished within a day, so then we just had to kick back and party it up Shambala-style! I was really happy with how it looked once it was set up (it always looks a little different in situ than how you imagine it), but it was at night time that it really came alive!

This year the woodland crew had set aside two huge UV floodlights for my work, and once they were turned on the crochet glowed like crazy. It had always been my intention for it to be lit up with UV light, but the power of the flood lights created a truly magical effect. There were even some hay bales positioned beneath it so people could lie back and soak in the night-time visual treat!

There's a whole load of arty ramblings in the video at the start which kind of explains what it's all about. But the main thing for me is that this project was a huge success! My first art installation at Shambala last year was a bit of a learning curve for me, so it was great that I got to go back again and put the lessons I learnt into practice (mostly keeping it out of people's reach)! I'm already thinking about how I can grow this project and make it even bigger. Some people struggle to understand why I spend so long making something that is only going to be displayed for such a short period of time, but even with all the stress, anxiety and logistics that comes with a project like this, this is truly what I love doing - I only hope that I can continue down this path in the years to come (obligatory blag time - if you're reading this and are interested in having my exhibit my work at your venue or festival, do feel free to get in touch).

Anyway, I promise to come back and write another blog post at some point soon (hopefully within 2018). My freelance job as a crochet designer has been going great, so I've got loads of patterns to show you at some point (you can always check out my ravelry link up on the right hand side).

And finally, a HUGE thanks to my main mans Ben and Broughton for being the best artists assistants (and friends) I've ever had, Paintbox Yarns for kindly supplying the awesome chunky yarn that works so well under UV, the legend that is Morgan for giving me a second chance, and to all of the woodland crew in general for being helpful and creating an amazing environment, oh and the missus for putting up with my mess and stress while making it. And of course, BIG LOVE to Shambala!

So until next time, peace out y'all! x

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