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Yarn Bombs Explode at Honolulu Museum of Art

Word on the street is that the Honolulu Museum of Art got bombed two weeks ago – by yarn, that is. Instead of using paint or chalk, local artists joined the forces of their knitting needles and crochet hooks to create a 21st-century style of graffiti, or street art, if you will. All in conjunction with the second annual International Yarn Bombing Day, when yarn’s used to its fullest potential; and in the case of this Makiki museum, it involves tree “sweaters” or “sleeves” and new additions to two horse sculptures.

Trees at the art museum getting some colorful summer attire.

A group of knitters called TheFuzz led the graffiti movement outside of the museum’s Spalding House. They tagged a large monkeypod branch about 35 feet from the ground with a 55-foot yarn “sweater.” Perhaps attire that’ll be a bit warm for the summer months but nonetheless, super trendy with vibrantly-colored stripes. There are also smaller trees marked in a similar fashion; look at them from a certain angle, and you’ll notice they form a straight line. Cool, huh?

Keep looking around the museum’s grounds for more yarn taggings. You’ll see that it’s all about the horse though. One in particular has got everyone talking – the metal horse sculpture that rests in the shade of the monkeypod. He’s got a heart! A bright red knitted heart encased inside of him; not beating, of course, but glowing for all visitors to see. As for the 300-year-old horse sculpture just down the road at the Honolulu Academy of Arts, he’s riding in style with a mail saddle and knitted lei. According to TheFuzz’s website, this was done in honor of the horse that carry around the Hawaiian pau riders.

If I only had a heart. Metal horse sculpture comes to life.

Many credit the Texans for setting off the first yarn bombs in 2005 as a way to personalize sterile public places. Since then, it’s spread throughout the world and has taken on its own meaning with each project.

I’d say the most impressive part of the exhibit was the knitted QR code in the horse’s mail saddle. Why? Because it actually works when you scan it with your smartphone. Either a really smart phone or some really talented knitters! Scanning it will take you to the official website of TheFuzz, where you can learn more about their yarn bombing project. I’ve taken a fiber arts class during college and man, I give them credit for their elaborate pieces. It takes a lot of time and a ton of patience!

Tech-savvy horse. A knitted QR code that actually works!

Get hands-on with TheFuzz at the Honolulu Museum of Art July 14, 2012. They’re going to be making pom pom bombs at the annual art-and-performance family fun day.

YARN BOMBING AT THE HONOLULU MUSEUM OF ART • Exhibit ends July 14, 2012 • Opens Tues-Sat, 1-5pm • 2411 Makiki Heights Dr., Honolulu, HI 96822 • 808-526-0232

Photo Credit: Hannah Busekrus (first, top); LJ Busekrus (first, bottom); Rita Scott (second); ArchiPURlago/Michelle Schwengala (third)

Posted by: Bruce Fisher on Jul 7, 2012