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Creative Crochet Communities – Cherry Greenslade

From the RiAus Adelaide Reef Project Manager, Cherry Greenslade

Creative Crochet Communities

Being part of the Reef has been an amazing experience and as the Project Manager and a crocheter I am so proud of what we as a community have achieved. While the Reef has had brilliant media attention on radio and in newspapers and magazines, many of the personal stories remain untold.

One of the participants was crocheting on the bus when a fellow passenger asked what they were making.   On the journey they discussed the exhibition and by the time the bus ride was over the Reef Project had yet another participant. Others have spread the word while shopping for yarn and crochet hooks. Office lunch rooms have also come alive with crochet activity as participants use every spare moment to work on their creations and share the creative process with their colleagues.

The enthusiasm for the project and community spirit at the workshops has been beyond our expectations.  I’m sure those that attended the Thursday night workshops at RiAus would agree that the hours spent sharing their coral creations with friends have been a highlight of the project.  One of the most wonderful parts of this project has been the willingness of the more experienced crocheters to teach those that were new to the craft.

The generous response to our request for donations of yarn and other textiles has been overwhelming.  We have had 100s of balls of yarn donated from stashes all over Adelaide.  Items donated have included wool, cotton, video tapes, cassette tapes, audio reels, telephone wire, plastic bags, rope, wire and twine. These contributions have inspired our artists to experiment with different materials and stitches and take our reef far beyond expectations.

Some of the artists have adorned their houses with their coral creations and have found it extremely hard to give up their pieces for the exhibition.   Certainly while we have been gathering the pieces together and creating the reef we have fallen in love with them too.

For seasoned crocheters the task of creating the hyperbolic shapes seemed simple however when combined with the opportunity to use more abstract shapes and complex materials the whole project took on a life of its own.  For others the patterns alone were complex but over the course of the workshops they have felt brave enough to test out their own ideas and create unique pieces.

The spectacular crochet Reef that is on display was create by more than 300 South Australians over four months and I know that each participant would agree with me that it has been a joy to be part of such a talented group.

- Cherry Greenslade

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