As a young girl, I was enthralled by the clickerty click of my grandma’s knitting needles, as she created a new winter wardrobe of jumpers, hats and scarfs sat peacefully by the fireside in the evening hours. Like many, I was taught the basics of knit one, cast one yet never mastered the art myself.
As I grew into adulthood, I moved away from creativity as I became a corporate lawyer. A little later in my career, I tried, once again, to pick up knitting as hobby as a form of meditation to help me relax in the evenings, this time with more success as I knitted a woollen blanket for my friend’s newborn child.
As I moved into 2021, it’s fair to say that I looked back on 2020 as a time of unprecedented crisis and change. As the world reeled from the covid pandemic that swept the planet, many environmental issues have come to the forefront. The need to tackle climate change being one of them.
The clear skies free from pollution and the resulting regeneration of the planet were all too apparent during the time when humanity was placed under lockdown, bringing home the need for each and every one of us to act to prevent further changes to our climate. What better way to help climate change than creating your own clothes in a peaceful environment?
Artists such as Josie George are merging creativity with activism to create a powerful medium to bring awareness to issues such as climate change to create a more peaceful earth.
In January 2020, Josie was inspired to create a temperature scarf as a way to engage with climate change. She chose colour-coded yarn that reflected the spectrum of temperatures in her homeland of the United Kingdom.
She knitted two rows of colour-coordinated yarn per week to create a visual record of temperatures throughout the year and shared her progress with her social media following.
After stocking up on the cooler coloured yarn for the winter months, she shared that the UK experienced extreme weather during this period, as intensive storms and floods were followed by an early heatwave with record temperatures and dry spells. This fluctuation continued throughout the year.
As she became aware of the fluctuations of temperature, she often shared how the changes affected her emotional landscape, which would appear to highlight her instinctive nature and connection to the planet. This suggests a deeper contemplation of how climate change impacts humanity. Indeed, she reflected that knitting inspired a more peaceful existence as she rode the wave of her own emotions.
I guess stories like Josie’s are a reminder that activism, the art of rebelling against the status quo, doesn’t always mean shouting from the rooftops. Sometimes, merging creativity with activism, by picking up a pair of knitting needles and a ball or two of wool speaks volumes and creates a peaceful environment for all.
What’s more, merging creativity with activism has the ability to inspire others to do the same, as many of her fans followed her example by creating their own scarfs and blankets. They, in turn, became aware of climate change on a daily basis.
So, for the creatively inspired who want to make a difference. How can you merge your creativity with activism to bring much-needed change to the world we live in? To create a peaceful environment, both internally and externally. I, for one, intend to pick up my knitting needles again this winter and let the clickerty click of the needles sooth my worries away.
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(c) Samantha Wilson 2020. All Rights Reserved.
Source: My Modern Met