Popping up in an allotment shed

Clare was at the Greenbelt Festival over the August bank holiday. As part of a fantastic weekend, she gave a Pecha Kucha talk about her art work, and “Particulart: Up in the Air” popped up in the Allotment Gallery.

There was visual art dotted around the site at Boughton House near Kettering, including three venues in shed down by the lake: the Garden, Allotment, and Potager Galleries. The Allotment Gallery hosted a series of installations from different artists over the weekend. Particulart took the 12-4pm slot on the Sunday.

Clare had a series of great conversations across the ages and genders, from small children attracted by the inflatable globe and hanging molecules that could be swung, to young people interested in data and/or science; from knitters gaining new ideas for how they can use their craft in activism, to a mechanical engineer thinking about communicating data and information, and a psychotherapist pondering the benefits to mental health of knitting and making generally.

Half way through, she was approached by a woman from Radio 4 who asked her whether she would record some of the Daily Service for Wednesday, part of a special week of programmes from Greenbelt. So her voice can be heard reading some prayers halfway through “A Different Type of Power: The Power of Art”.

The mechanical engineer provided one of her favourite quotes: “When I read the board outside, I had no idea just how amazingly cool this was!” Her other favourite quote was a throw-away line from a couple of women as they went on to their next thing: “I love Greenbelt!” Presumably because Greenbelt is the sort of space where they can happen upon stuff like bonkers installations involving knitting, chemistry, contemplation, and gentle protest. Clare loves Greenbelt too!

Here are some photos of the shed, with thanks to Sue Holden.

Comments – “Up in the Air” pop-up at Exeter Cathedral

There were probably some comments at the first two pop-up appearances, but they were never recorded and so fade into the mists of time. Here are some nice ones from the appearance at Holy Ground in Exeter Cathedral, though.

Science in church – wonderful. You know it makes sense!

What an imaginative and informative display

Pretty impressive.

The 3D graph certainly adds to the experience of the data, and makes an impact, bringing it to life. And who doesn’t love walking within a 3D logarithmic graph?

It was a great display, and a really interesting and moving service too xxx

Comments – “Up in the Air”

Here are a few of the responses to “Up in the Air” left in the comments book:

Super interesting. Innovative & inventive. Love it!

Brilliant concept and presentation – more excellent ideas on how to present data clearly and creatively!

Love it – particularly simple yet simply complex!

Weird in a good way

My chemical eyes needed opening – & this has done it! Many thanks

This is so simple and yet so effective, the colours really contrast and it is very bold and interesting! Love it!

Gentleness in strength!

Fascinating — make sure you don’t miss the axes!

You’ve got me thinking again – thank you

The last was one of a few comments that showed the exhibition provoked thought, which was particularly pleasing.

In case you were wondering, here’s a video explaining how you make a booklet using saddle stitch, and here are all the comments…

Comments – “A Stitch in Time”


Here are a few of the responses to “A Stitch in Time” left in the comments book:

I love the concept of this and recognise the need to have these conversations. Thank you for blending science and religeon/spirituality [sic].

Excellent, Outstanding. No other words to say.

I absolutely love yarn.

I wish we’d had something like this at school. I’d have learned a lot more. Knitting is so visual and much more accessible than the ball and stick kit we had in chemistry.

This display is great! I never could have imagined Lent can be so modern if not this display! Thank you!

I glad people seem to be engaging with the exhibition, and that it is provoking thought and conversations. I hope it continues!

Comments p1Comments p3

Comments – “Particulart”

An independent café, where time is slowed and the audience is relaxed, is the ideal location for an encounter with a bunch of knitted chemistry with a message. Here are a few of the comments and tweets we received:

I do like a bit of #knitted art over coffee.

I was drinking my tea at Real Food, when I noticed a knitted particle on the table, then I realised I was surrounded by organic chemistry.

Had a sneak preview. Looks amazing. Do go along and see something you will never have seen before.

I wish I could adequately describe how happy I am that knitted molecular chains are an actual thing.

Diana and I invited the Incinerator’s Liaison Committee to our launch, which led to one of the most positive responses we had to the exhibition. One of the subcontractors told us they were used to attending ‘shouty’ aggressive protests, which did little beyond alienating them. Our gentle protest made him much more interested in engaging, and he liked the potential for educating the public.