Crochet as Art: Joana Vasconcelos

comments (7) April 9th, 2008     

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LindaPermann Linda Permann, contributor
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A Vasconcelos hand-crochet covered crab.  The artist considers her crochet to be a drawing or pattern on the work.
Hand-crochet covered cow by Joana Vasconcelos
A Vasconcelos hand-crochet covered crab.  The artist considers her crochet to be a drawing or pattern on the work.

A Vasconcelos hand-crochet covered crab.  The artist considers her crochet to be a drawing or pattern on the work.

Photo: Linda Permann

I can’t even remember how I first came across the work of Joana Vasconcelos, but it must have been in one of my Web crawls.

Joana is an artist living in Oeiras, Portugal, who transforms manufactured items into works of art, often by incorporating crochet. Joana starts with mass-produced porcelain statues—which are very common in Portugal—and individualizes them with hand-crocheted covers. She’s interested in exploring issues of modern consumerism, as well as cultural and personal identity and gender roles.

Her work is also about democratizing objects. From a discourse on her Web site: “Today, there are objects … that anyone can appreciate as being cool and trendy … There are objects that have changed status in this way. Status of people—of objects—changes; it isn’t static. Things that are banal today might belong in high culture tomorrow.”

“The crochet pieces are great fun … because the viewer might think, ‘Gosh, that’s just like the crochet back at home, just like my Grandma’s or my Mum’s!’ Then they think, ‘Actually, it’s in bad taste. But I like it because I find in it a certain identity, something I recognize. It’s like what I have at home, but now I’m seeing it in an artistic context. So if it’s here, that means it’s good. Then why am I thinking it’s bad?’”

She also uses the crochet work to draw the viewer in (it’s often said that the average person spends about 30 seconds in front of a piece of art). According to Joana, “Handcraft gives you three things: time, repetition, and then, when things are repeated over and over again, they become abstract.” She thinks of the crochet as a drawing or pattern on the work.

Be sure to check out the fantastic images on her Web site. Whether you’re interested in them as an artistic statement or as wonderful crochet work, you’re sure to be inspired.

posted in: joana vasconcelos

Comments (7)

EsBaluard writes: This video shows one of her pieces and an interview with the artist.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6c8ae33UuIY

Posted: 11:35 am on December 11th
rodezzy writes: Wow, her work is wicked awesome. Thanks for the site.
Posted: 3:22 pm on May 1st
RootieTootie writes: The detail of the crochet is uncanny,true works of art...
Posted: 1:23 pm on April 26th
qdpatooties writes: Really gorgeous - thanks for introducing us to Joana's work.
Posted: 9:48 am on April 12th
ecolocco writes: What a fantastic work !
Posted: 4:14 am on April 12th
Jen_sewandsox writes: These are so beautiful! What an original idea.
Posted: 4:32 pm on April 11th
skydramini writes: Simply stunning.
Posted: 10:43 pm on April 10th
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