CTS: Craftivism: when the pencil gets political

Craft has a very special place in the art world. It is the expression of protest and expression and is always associated with politics, action, environmental issues, and feminism.

A lot of aspects fall underneath the category craftivism. It ranges from the Victorian Arts and Crafts movement to today’s yarn bombers. Craftivism is an art form that lives off of its presentation in public spaces. It depends on the public eye to view their anti-modern era, anti- mass production, politically staged scenes.

‘Betsy Geer, as the founder is seen as the mother of craftivism.’ She has created the concept of combining craft and activism to help make a difference in the world.(Craftivism, Raffaella Amoroso, 2012,http://www.feeltheyarn.it/blog/craftivism)


Picture reference: http://www.feeltheyarn.it/blog/craftivism

Oftentimes craft practitioners prefer the use and aesthetic of hand-made, they reuse, remake and work in association with other practitioners. Craft opposes the automated, computer heavy illustration trend. I will in the following analyze which unique features hand-drawn art can bring into the art scene.

One of the most well-known and every day encountered art forms that come closest to what craftivism is, is graffiti. When graffiti first emerged it brought the unique characteristic of creating fonts that reflected who the artist is. It was revolutionary, it was illegal and it was free. Craftivism, in contrast, is as free, but not as permanent as graffiti.

When graffiti became mainstream, people tended to rip the art form out of its context in a very literal sense. A Banksy graffiti was ripped out of the mural it was painted on and sold it to a museum for a ridiculously high price. A fake was then put up in a frame.

There is a constant battle between the money-driven world and Craftivism. It prides itself in the fact that it is personal and political at the same time. A visual presentation of making personal art public are the Yarn bombing, Knit Graffiti and Underground Brigades.



Picture reference: http://wi.mobilities.ca/yarn-bombing-knit-graffiti-and-underground-brigades-a-study-of-craftivism-and-mobility/



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