Yarnbombing and the Return of the San Jose Museum

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A few years ago I went down to The San Jose Museum of Art and put up this yarnbomb outside. I was doing a series of yarnbombings of museums. I had found that museums were interested in questions like ” Where should art be shown and does street art give the viewer a particular and vivid experience of art ? ” People are in the mood to see art when they set off to go to a museum and so a piece of urban knitting can be a cheerful and provocative preliminary to the experience.

 

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‘Most Secret Butterfly ” by Tam Van Tran

After a couple of years of yarnbombing purely for my own pleasure and amusement I began approaching museums to yarnbomb on commission. I did several museum installations in this way, planning out what I would like to do and then approaching the museums with my ideas. I came to believe that I could do anything if I had a really organized plan, a timeline , good pictures and a lot of measuring.

3 months ago The San Jose Museum approached me , told me that they had been following my work and invited me to participate in a show called ” Momentum “. The idea for the show was to ask artists to choose a piece from their permanent  collection . The artist would then create either a response or and Intervention. My understanding is that the kind of yarnbombing I do where I interact with buildings or street fixtures is considered an intervention.

I looked through pictures of many beautiful pieces from the museum’s collection. I found a sculptural painting called ‘Most Secret Butterfly ‘ by a Vietnamese artist Tam Van Tran. The work made me feel very excited and very calm and focused. I chose it as my piece.

Much of this piece is heavily encrusted with staples. I was inspired to uses staples and a staple gun as a way to manipulate my felt into folds and ruffles. I found a cardboard tube that is used to form concrete.  Using the staple gun and the cardboard tube I was able to make the felt free stand with out having to use  a pillar from a building. Studying  ” Most Secret Butterfly ” was like being able to study with Tam Van Tran.

 

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It was slightly intimidating to make this piece for a museum. I tore it apart 5 times. I learned a great deal about staples. When I brought the piece to The San Jose Museum I couldn’t find the loading dock so I brought it through the front door myself and carried it up to the gallery. The pedestal was in front of “Most Secret Butterfly ” the art  was unexpectedly huge. I put the piece on the pedestal. It seemed to be looking back at it’s inspiration.

I named it “Everything” Changed “