Wednesday, May 27, 2015

My review of Common threads: weaving community through collaborative eco-art

Common Threads: Weaving Community through Collaborative Eco-ArtCommon Threads: Weaving Community through Collaborative Eco-Art by Sharon Kallis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a wonderful book, and fits very well with the maker and craftivist books I have been reading to explore what is happening in this space. This is a book about collaborative eco-art, focused on great work happening in Canada. Some of involves using invasive plants in a way which removes them, but also stabilises land. There is a lovely example of knitting ivy for this purpose. This books has lovely examples of eco art, as well a many hints and tips for running successful community collaborations in this space. I was very interested by the local government tie in as well.

Many of these works could be part of local studies work with the community as art techniques are learned and shared, as people talk about plants and about the spaces. I really liked the environmental focus and being able to see photographs of the art works as well as the garden spaces. This book highlighted the value of long term collaboration. An excellent read.

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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Anthropomorphism in Alices Adventures in Wonderland - and clear rights statements

Anthropomorphism in Alices Adventures in Wonderland

This is a very interesting blog post from the British Library. I really like the clear rights statements about each of the digitised items, and that the whole article has creative commons licensing.  It is impressive.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

My review of Crochet coral reef

Crochet Coral ReefCrochet Coral Reef by Margaret Wertheim
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really like this book. I had come across the idea of the crocheted reef when I was discovering hyperbolic crochet. I like the maths of it and that a crocheted shape is best way to demonstrate hyperbolic shapes. This book brings together conservation, craft, art, maths, feminism and much more as well as demonstrating a large scale and distributed craftivism project. There are lovely photographs of the different reefs, combined with stories of the different contributors and creators. They are all named in the book, and so a chunk of it is taken up with acknowledgements. This is brilliant as is highlights that these are not anonymous contributors (although some choose to be anonymous), but people with names and diverse geographies. This long acknowledgment added to the value of this publication.

To quote from this book (p131)
'In The tempest, Shakespeare proposes the sea as the site of transformation and renewal:

Full fathom five they father lies
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange"

Pulling in different directions, the Crochet Coral Reef points us towards mathematics, towards a consideration of collaboration, towards eco-consciousness and action. Most of all, the work draws us into the space of looking carefully, with a sense of wonder, at the infinitely varied forms and their combinations."

It is a wonderful, challenging book to read, with many photographs illustrating the reefs.

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