Austin artspace, testsite, has recently opened up an interactive exhibit with Brooklyn-based artist, Sheila Pepe. Pepe is known for her intense crochet-based installations, and Common Sense follows suit.
In the rooms of testsite, Pepe will install massive networks of crocheted yarn- skeins of yarn available for constructive re-use by testsite’s visitors. Throughout the exhibition’s duration, visitors are “encouraged to become interpreters, collaborators, to sit down and literally unravel Pepe’s crochet stitches, and then use the same yarn to knit items for personal or domestic use, i.e. scarves, hats, socks, mittens, slippers, purses, cosies, potholders, etc. This collaborative effort removes art from a solitary, hermetic experience to one that is social, communal, and interactive–a renewal of old-fashioned notions of togetherness that are being embraced by current generations.” Over time, during open hours as well as a variety of workshops, participants will dismantle Pepe’s installation and creatively repurpose its materials towards practical ends.
As the installation physically deteriorates over the course of time, traces of its presence will remain: wall drawings from Pepe’s ongoing Doppleganger series, created by the artist in collaboration with Dunbar. These sketches, “made according to a sequential method of intuitive object making, shadow casting, and interpretive drawing,” create a playful, impractical counterpoint to the more utilitarian function of the dismantled and repurposed yarn.
There are several workshops going on throughout the month-long exhibit, including weekly open knitting instruction. Jenny Hart, artist and founder of Sublime Stitching, will be speaking at the exhibit this weekend on the subject of the role of functional media as art. For more information and a complete schedule of related events, see the testsite website.