Tuesday, May 22, 2012

De Lapjesboom ~ Thoughts on urban knitting

Urban knitting / De Lapjesboom at Floriade 2012.

Urban knitting can take on many forms and be seen in many spaces, too. More and more, it's becoming common to spot this kind of knitted graffiti in public places all over the world.

At Floriade 2012, a world horticultural event that is held once every 10 years in the Netherlands, we came upon De Lapjesboom ~ Dutch for The Patchwork Tree ~ while walking the festival grounds during our recent visit in the Dutch city of Venlo. Mind you, this yarn-storming work of fiber art was planned ~ not impromptu. Still, it was a beautiful and artistic sight to behold and it truly added to the enjoyment of our day.

Observing reactions to De Lapjesboom.

De Lapjesboom was not only very colorful to admire. It became very interesting to observe people's reactions, too. 

A sign in Dutch near the tree described De Lapjesboom:
Een statige oude eik omhuld door gebreide lappen, die kleur en vrolijkheid brengen in de harten van de mens. 

A stately old oak tree wrapped in knitted cloth, the color and joy into the hearts of man.

The color and joy into the hearts of man.

According to Wikipedia, these urban yarn installations ~ also known as yarn bombs ~ were recorded as early as May 2004 in Den Helder, Netherlands. Personally, I don't like the term yarn bombs and much prefer yarn storms. Besides trees, yarn storms have shown up on many unimaginable-but-common things such as telephone poles, bicycle racks, fences, door knobs ~ even the omnipresent red phone boxes in the U.K.

Reflect or be reflective /
Hugging De Lapjesboom.

At Floriade 2012, the De Lapjesboom became ontmoetingsplek, a meeting place for everyone to pause and take notice. Whether to reflect or be reflective, the De Lapjesboom became a conversation topic among many who stopped to take photographs or be photographed standing ~ even hugging ~ the tall oak tree.

All photographs by Michael Dickens, copyright 2012. All rights reserved.

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