Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Artificial Light

Nestled in Redmond's Anderson Park and snuggled in custom made sweaters are some very warm, colorful and grateful trees. They've been given special treatment thanks to Suzanne Tidwell's Artificial Light project. It's a temporary project by nature because it stays on the move. The sweaters have been wrapped around trees in several locations in the Puget Sound before landing in Redmond. Designed to make people stop and take notice, the sweaters are crafted in bright and contrasting colors; just the thing to get spectators and the trees through a gray and cloud spring.

Tidwell measures each tree, designs the 1000 row panels and produces the colorful blocks on her knitting machine. She uses reclaimed acrylic yarn (i.e. from thrift shop finds) to make the sweaters more durable. Each panel is hand sewn onto the trees. It's a process that takes weeks to complete and she has learned the hard way to only work on the installations when the temperature gets to a comfortable level.

"You either love it or hate it," Tidwell says of the public feedback so far. "People talk about it and sparking conersation about art is a powerful thing. We all have a favorite sweater or blanket that we wrap ourselves in for warmth and comfort." Tidwell says she jumped on the 'yarn bombing' bandwagon when she started this project. She's not sure what her next project will be but she's pretty sure it will be something she can do indoors.
Artificial Light is part of the City of Redmond's 100 year anniversary. See the artwork at Anderson Park through June 3.

YARN BOMBING: A graffiti or street art that employs colorful displays of knitted or crocheted yarn rather than paint or chalk - Wikipedia