Yarn bombers hit the Parkinson Recreation Centre Saturday leaving a number of tags aimed at increasing the profile of people with disabilities. While no one has officially claimed responsibility

Kelowna’s Parkinson Recreation Centre gets (yarn) bombed

An anonymous graffiti artist or artists have decorated the city recreation facility from head to toe in wool.

  • May. 8, 2012 2:00 p.m.

Parkinson Recreation Centre has been bombed.

Over the weekend, trees mysteriously grew a new sheath of woollen protection that gives the poplars a wintery-look as though they’ve just pulled on a fresh pair of socks over their bark.

No one was injured in the event and the aftermath looks great, according to those surveying the “yarn bombing” scene Monday morning.

Yarn Bombing“I thought it was cool. I didn’t know what it was, but I did like it and the city worker who was pruning the trees liked it too,” said Kelowna mom Barb Kilpatrick, who was enjoying the playground outside the recreation facility.

“We thought it was really colourful. And we knit, so we appreciated all the work that went into it,” said Christine Gordon, another mother sitting at one of the picnic tables surrounded by knit-covered trees.

The art form is the latest street art crazy and, while it’s generally done anonymously under the cover of darkness as it is illegal, the artists for this particular hit left several calling cards.

Yarn BombingWords like “diversability” and “yarn bombers” were tagged on the project suggesting it may be the work of advocates for those with disabilities; although, no one has officially claimed responsibility.

The impact of the artist or artist’s visit appears to be extensive with tubes of knit and crocheted yarn spanning from the pedestrian overpass crossing Highway 97 to the front doors of the PRC building.

Yarn bombing is a global guerrilla movement spurred by knitters of all ages and used to add everything from humour to beauty to political messaging to cities around the world.

In Vancouver, yarn bombers Mandy Moore and Leanne Prain have literally have written the book on the movement adding commentary and explanation where it might not have previously existed.

Yarn Bombing: The Art of Knit Graffiti was published in 2009, but the women have continued to record different yarn bombing feats thanks to a very loyal following and an online blog. Their posts include a project to knit and crochet cherry blossoms onto the cherry blossom tree in front of the Joy Kagawa House in Vancouver—the author is famous for her writings on the blooms in Naomi’s Tree.

The bloggers have showcased a German Stitch N Bitch group who stormed the U1 subway system and decorated a car while disguised in knit beards. Among their other posts are some California cruiser bike lock bars well decked out in yarn tube socks.

A quick Google search will turn up several interviews from men and women who are taggers using the method, which has been loosely prosecuted because it doesn’t damage the landscape. There are also very serious yarn bombers who take the craft element right out of the work and create elaborate images out of wool in public spaces.

While trees are a typical yarn bombing target, artists have also covered buses and bikes and added humorous touches, like leg warmers, to statues. There’s even a very famous pink knit cover for a tank and a cover for the charging bull on Wall Street in New York City.

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