Way back in the mists of time, during Art Week Exeter 2017, I had a conversation about patterns with Veronica Gosling of Studio 36. Five months later I’m singing 20th century classics and knitting on stage.
Over the last couple of months, I’ve been part of a group assembled by the force of nature that is Veronica Gosling at Studio 36. We’ve been bouncing ideas around and exploring inspirations on the theme of “Patterns”, and working towards a performance at St Sidwell’s Community Centre on 21 October.
For Art Week Exeter, I thought I’d open my newly-painted garage studio up to the world. Complete with kettle and lots of cake. It was a chance to show some of my work since 2014, and to ask for ideas for art in St Loyes.
Particulart features this month in the “What is Art?” issue of Average Art Magazine, 1 December 2016. In its use of knitting as a medium for a message, Particulart is an example of ‘craftivism’. But is it art?
Clare Bryden. Particulart: the art of knitting, chemistry, and gentle protest. Average Art Magazine, “What is Art?” issue, 1 December 2016.
“Fun Palaces is a movement campaigning for culture by, for and with all – with a firm belief that community belongs at the core of all culture – and an annual weekend of events… Everyone an Artist, Everyone a Scientist.”
I was at the Greenbelt Festival over the August bank holiday. As part of a fantastic weekend, I gave a Pecha Kucha talk about my art work, and “Particulart: Up in the Air” popped up in the Allotment Gallery.
The overall aim of Particulart is to engage people with environmental and social issues and challenge the status quo through the power of knitting, science, and public art. In addition, “Exhausted” aimed to promote public awareness and provoke reflection on urban air quality, through a quirky display enabling playful interaction. It appeared at “Test Drive the Future”, an exhibition of electric vehicles, that will help solve the problem of air pollution.
The overall aim of Particulart is to engage people with environmental and social issues and challenge the status quo through the power of knitting, science, and public art. In addition, “Greenhouse Effect” aimed to promote public awareness and provoke reflection on climate change and the underlying science, through appealing to different ways of accessing information – words and numbers, sight and touch – and enabling playful interaction.
This weekend, there are going to be not one… not two… but yes OK two Particulart events in Oxford as part of Low Carbon Oxford Week, and they’re both brand new exhibitions and both FREE!!
A few greenhouse gases and accompanying information are currently winging their way over to Wallingford. They will be popping up as part of an event under the Oxfordshire Artweeks umbrella.
Clare was honoured to be able to show Particulart at TEDxExeter 2016, in between a nice lot of Particulart-relevant talks(!) such as Danny Dorling on different ways of mapping the world, Alan Smith on how statistics are about Us, and the video of Al Gore’s latest TED talk on climate change.
That’s nothing to do with the 1980s pop group, but the Festival of Weather, Art and Music. The 2016 event was all about “Extreme Weather and You”, and there were loads of activities on the programme, from print-making to climate roulette.
The fantastic folk in Fore Street Exeter are holding a Cheese and Wine Fundraiser for Refugees, to include a raffle of artworks and craft. I am donating a carbon dioxide molecule, also under the aegis of Free Art Friday Exeter. Further donations from artists and makers still very welcome.
“Something Wonderful in My Back Yard – The Musical” was originally conceived by producer Chloe Uden, and written by poet Matt Harvey and composer Thomas Hewitt Jones. The musical songbook features “Particulart” and the pattern for knit-your-own carbon dioxide!
The Holy Ground service happens once a month in Exeter Cathedral. The evenings very often engage in social issues, which is why this December it was held to coincide with the Paris climate negotiations, and why the “Up in the Air” pop-up made a special appearance.
Exeter Cathedral is hosting an “Up in the Air” video installation for the duration of the Paris climate negotiations. I’m proud that it is part of ArtCOP21, the global climate art festival.
Abingdon is my home town, so I took the opportunity to be a visiting speaker at the Carbon Cutters monthly meeting.
My talk at Abingdon Carbon Cutters tonight receives some advance publicity in the Oxford Mail.
Who has put wisdom in the inward parts,
or given understanding to the mind?
Who has the wisdom to number the clouds?
Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens,
— Job 38:36-37
“Up in the Air” popped up for a second time at the Relight My Fire festival of energy and the arts run by RegenSW. Indoors this time, and slimmed down without roof or games area. It just about fit in the space.
Released on Ozone Day 2015, knitted representations of the three main stratospheric ozone depletion equations: the breakdown of CFC-11 in sunlight releasing a chlorine atom, and the cycle of ozone destruction catalysed by this chlorine.
Exeter Green Fair on 5 September saw the debut of my new “Up in the Air” pop-up. Under a blue gazebo (the sky), I suspended eight pale blue hula hoops (clouds), and from these the eight greenhouse gases.
PechaKucha is a new way of doing Powerpoint presentations. There are 20 slides, which must be images only, and they change automatically every 20 seconds, so the talk is only 6 minutes 40 seconds in total. It becomes more of a performance than a presentation.
As part of the publicity for “Up in the Air” in July, I gave away my prototype for Particulart, the carbon dioxide that ended up a bit too big and time-consuming to knit. It was a bit of a wrench!
Particulart is the art of knitting, chemistry and gentle protest. It’s about engaging people with environmental and social issues and challenging the status quo through the power of knitting, science, and public art. You too can now knit your own chemistry using these patterns.
Particulart has been mentioned in Chemistry World, published by the Royal Society of Chemistry. Can’t get much more illustrious than that!
RegenSW asked me to write for its new blog “Power Culture: exploring our energy generation through the arts”. It took me 44 years to learn to follow the energy, so here’s the story of how Particulart sparked and took on its own energy…
The overall aim of Particulart is to engage people with environmental and social issues and challenge the status quo through the power of knitting, science, and public art. In addition, “Up in the Air” aimed to promote public awareness and provoke reflection on climate change and the underlying science, through appealing to different ways of accessing information – words and numbers, sight and touch – and enabling playful interaction.
I didn’t know whether Up in the Air would be picked up by the local press, but the 23 July edition of Express and Echo gave it a couple of inches in What’s On, just before the end of the show.
“Sulphur hexafluoride’, ‘Tetrafluoromethane’ and ‘Fluorform’ [sic] might not be words you expect to see as part of your everyday art exhibition, but then again, Clare Bryden is not your everyday artist (if there even is such a thing!).”
As part of the Particulart: Up in the Air exhibition, Diana Moore of Particulart and Knit-Stop ran a knit-your-own carbon dioxide workshop.
An innovative art installation goes on show this week to bring alive the greenhouse gases that are causing climate change. Local artist Clare Bryden has been knitting larger than life versions of the particles and making card games. The exhibition, which will be on display from 11-24 July at the Glorious Art House in Fore Street Exeter, is designed to be a playful way of sparking people’s interest in the science and issue of climate change.
Buy a coffee and cake from the Glorious café on the ground floor, and wander up to the second floor gallery for 3D knitted molecules floating in the Earth’s atmosphere!
On Monday 18th May, I took “Particulart” into the unfamiliar territory – The Ship Inn in the middle of Exeter – as part of the annual worldwide Pint of Science festival.
Clare Bryden. Knitting and other revolutionary acts. Third Way Magazine, May 2015.
As competing political voices reach election crescendo, could it be that artistic, home-spun forms of activism are more positive and quietly persuasive? Clare Bryden hails the rise of ‘Craftivism’ and explains how knitting can change the world.
I got some excellent news this morning. Exeter City Council have approved a small arts grant towards my next Particulart exhibition.
During Lent 2015 – 18 February to 4 April – the Church of England in the South West ran a Carbon Fast. It was 40 days to reflect on how we affect our planet and consider what we can do to reduce our carbon footprint. “A Stitch in Time” ran roughly concurrently, showing 3D knitted representations of a series of greenhouse gases that are implicated in climate change.
Written for TEDxExeter 2015 “Taking the Long View”: The Guardian’s campaign to keep fossil fuels in the ground, a Lenten Carbon Fast; and how I take the long view in my knitting and arts practice.
You’ve probably heard of Lent fasts: giving up chocolate or biscuits or swearing for the 40 days before Easter. The Church of England in the south west is going to be running a Carbon Fast this year, and Particulart is going to be involved through a new exhibition in Bristol Cathedral.
Last night, at somewhat short notice, I stepped into a breach and gave a St Michael’s Lecture. I liked the title so much, I adopted it for the work.
Particulart is all about knitting. It’s also all about the Exeter Incinerator, which was inaugurated on 16th October 2014, and about waste management strategy, and monitoring emissions, and the environment, and health, and transparency, and visual impact, and chemistry.
The original “Particulart” was a collaboration between Clare Bryden and Diana Moore, exhibiting in the Exeter Real Food café during autumn 2014. Knitting and emitting particles was our way of telling other people about the Exeter Incinerator and its potential impacts.
Good news! The Real Food Store has given us three more weeks, so you will be able to view the Particulart exhibition there until 29th November.
I’m exhausted, but feeling exhilarated and satisfied. Diana and I have managed to hang the show, with some absolutely critical help from Naomi Hart. So we’re all set to open to the punters on Monday.
We are in today’s Express and Echo. Page 44 isn’t quite “hold the front page!” but we still got a colour photo!
An innovative community art installation goes on show this week to bring alive the impacts of Exeter’s new ‘Energy from Waste’ incineration facility. Members of the community have been knitting larger than life versions of the particles that will be emitted from the new facility. The exhibition which will be on display at the Real Food Café in Paris Street, is designed to tell people about the incinerator, encourage Devon County Council to ensure it is operated properly over its 25 years contract and think harder about their future waste management strategy.
It’s been months in the planning and making, and now Particulart is at hand. The exhibition will be in the Real Food café from 13th October to 8th November, with a launch party on the evening of 15th October.
The art of knitting, chemistry, and gentle protest.