Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Big Knit Debacle

I cannot believe it, well maybe I can... this is one piece of public art that I suspected might be braver than brave from the moment I heard of it.
A dear friend of mine told me a while ago of her involvement in developing a public art programme with the Western area of Melbourne. The Big West Festival ( As a person with a long period of experience of working within the western suburbs of Melbourne, and also aware of the current racial undertones of reported acts of violence (international student bashings, attack of Dr Mukesh Haikerwal, fatal beating of Dr Zhungjun Cao to name a few), I was keen to know of a positive programme in the area.
I am very sad to report that today my optimism has been destroyed.
The news today is that the installation of this major project, a large knitted scarf for a long bridge was deliberately destroyed within 12 hours of its installation. Dave Cole ( who was one of the major creative forces behind this project has been recorded as being totally overwhelmed by the violent attack on this project.
I for one am very disappointed that this has happened. Although a strong advocate of ephemeral art, I do not accept that one has the right to violate anothers work without appropriate discourse. So far it seems there has been no indication of why the attacker/s have done this, with both Karen (organiser) and others being shown in the public arena as shocked and searching for reasons why their hard work has been destroyed.
Will we be told why this has been done, or will it become another senseless act of bullying by stealth of night? An awful way of intimidating and silencing those who wish to live a more open and free life.


  1. I saw this in the newspaper this morning and was very disappointed for the people who had put in so much work. But we cannot allow one or two people to take away our freedom, our joy in life. We have to see this for the cowardly act it is and hope that the people who worked on it can move forward to bigger and better things.

  2. It's sad to see the stealthy, anonymous ones destroy something beautiful. But perhaps something good might come out of the act of destruction. Maybe the "good guys" will be inspired to persevere and do something else together.

  3. Absolutely, and lets hope that sponsors find it an even higher priority to support work in these more difficult areas.