'Yarn Bombing' Is The New Graffiti, But Is That OK?

'Yarn Bombing' Is The New Graffiti, But Is That OK?

Many people criticize yarnbombing ... and with good reason.
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If you’re a fan of street art, or art in general, you may have heard about a form of art known as “yarnbombing” — in which a street artists, instead of using spray paint or chalk, decorate objects with knitted yarn. What may seem as an initially innocent form of art has found much criticism among other artists as well as art fans in general.

Many of these issues can be easily solved, however. There are many ways that yarn bombers can slightly alter their artistry to make sure that yarnbombing is enjoyed by more of the masses.

One of the main issues with yarnbombing centers around the fact that often, it isn’t cleaned up. While yarn bombing can look bright and cheerful in the beginning, leaving out yarn to the elements will eventually lead to a soggy, faded mess. And due to the fact that these yarn bomb creations are often put up in public community spaces (on telephone poles, benches, bike racks, etc …), it causes a decrease in usefulness of these places.

That is easily solvable. Artists, just remember to be responsible about your yarnbombing. Check in on how it is doing, and if you begin to see it decaying, take it down. It’s understandable that you may feel a little sad about taking it down (considering you did work hard to make it), but it’s important to realize that yarnbombing in a public setting always has to be temporary.

Olek, an NYC artist, yarnbombing the Cancun Underwater Museum in order to "save the sea"-- a stunt that was not looked upon favorably.

Another criticism that yarnbombers face is regarding yarnbombing trees. Some think that yarnbombing can harm trees growth, while others think that it doesn’t make a difference at all. Can yarnbombing affect trees? Leanne Prann, a passionate yarnbomber, lays out her thoughts on yarnbombing trees on a blogpost:

Trees are often what people are concerned with. I’ve heard concerns on both side. I’ve had an arborist tell me that as long as knitting on a tree didn’t restrict a tree’s growth or sap production, it’s fine. I’ve had another scientist tell me that it could eventually hamper the tree’s growth or attract insects who would want to kill the tree. Some yarn bombers take it upon themselves to remove knitting when it starts to look old; others leave it up to chance and weather. Natural fibers droop and fade, synthetics look good longer but essentially never biodegrade. If you live in a rainy climate, like I do, things will rot.

There isn’t a perfect answer to this question, however there are several ways one can attempt to keep their damage to a minimum. First, when yarnbombing trees, it is highly suggested not to use acrylic yarn, which is a synthetic fiber made of plastic. In these cases, the yarn isn’t biodegradable and is incredibly unhealthy for the tree. Many yarn enthusiasts suggest using natural fiber if you do plan on yarmbombing trees. However, it is also important to note that having yarn that absorbs moisture could eventually bring harm to trees. The second important thing to make sure about is that you’re not harming any animal habitats while yarnbombing. Do as little damage as possible, and, as said above, make sure to be responsible about taking your yarn bombing down.

The third and final issue I will address has to do with the ethics of yarnbombing and using yarn for what some may call useless projects. Isn’t it true that this copious amount of yarn could be used for other things, like making clothing for those in need? A criticizer of yarnbombing made a rather chilling comment in response to a Tumblr post, saying “... the first time I saw yarn-bombing, I saw people sleeping under trees that were better dressed than they were.”

People who criticize yarnbombing for being wasteful make an excellent point; shouldn’t we be focusing on putting clothes on people before we put clothes on trees? Mary, a passionate yarnbomber, disagrees. Some believe that yarmbombing and helping those in need aren’t mutually exclusive actions. While that may be true for some yarmbombers, one can be sure it isn’t a notion held by every single one out there. However, one should realize that yarnbombing is a form of art, and artists are not obligated to constantly donating their work. If you are planning on yarmbombing, you should definitely initially think about the cost of your work, and consider whether or not that money can go to something better.

An instance of yarnbombing used for activism.

Yarnbombing can be a fun activity, as long as you’re conscious about what you’re doing and how it affects the world around you. If you aren’t ready for that sort of commitment or pressure on your back, it may be better to begin yarnbombing on your own property, and work from there.

Cover Image Credit: Artsy Forager

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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