February's Work In Progress Resident
Ýr Jóhannsdóttir, better known as Ýrúrarí, is an Icelandic textile artist and designer based in Reykjavík. She works mostly with knitting techniques, where she explores the possibilities that visual knittted elements can create in spaces and on the human body, and how they can illustrate the everyday three dimensional space. Ýr’s work ranges from upcycling old jumpers with fun hand knitted decorations to machine knitting abstract textiles in her ongoing project “Matters”.
The upcycle project evolved from Ýr’s former jumper creations, starting in 2012, where she knitted jumpers from scratch and then decorated them with hand knitted shapes. The original idea was to transform something as everyday as a cozy jumper into something weird, knowing that the owner of it would bend the ordinary elements in an everyday space when wearing it. Now instead of making the jumpers from scratch Ýr uses found jumpers in second hand stores and gives them a new chapter in their jumper-lifes with handmade playful ornaments.
In 2014 Ýr started her textile design studies at Reykjavík school of Visual Arts and graduated with a BA from Glasgow school of Art in 2017. Through her studies, Ýr got a deeper knowledge of how to work on analogue knitting machines and ended up focusing on special zig-zag racking called “556 holy mountains”. Since then, this other knit-dimension has evolved into the project “Matters” where she explores the boundaries of her abstract knits, playing with OP art, architecture and weaving. In the Fall of 2017, Ýr spent a month in Künstlerhaus Lukas residency in Germany to develop patterns and sketch new work. In the Winter, she took her knitting machine to the north of Iceland and begun sampling and knitting her new ideas at the NES art residency in rural Skagaströnd and at the textile residency in Blönduós. Since then, the "Matters" project has evolved into an obsessive patternmaking series, creating poetry-like knitted answers, addressing the concept of breaking the unnecessary invisible boxes society has folded up for us.
After months spent in isolated residencies, Ýr brings her work to the windows of the Textile Arts Center. By changing the surroundings to such an opposite environment from the small town life, Ýr hopes to push her project to new stages.
UPCYCLE YOUR SWEATER
Monday, February 25
Join Ýrúrarí for a workshop on how to upcycle old sweaters using knitting techniques. The workshop will start with a short lecture about Ýrúrarí's work and process of upcycling old sweaters. After the lecture, attendants will learn more about the tools and techniques used by the artist, and draw up ideas on how they can give their old sweaters a makeover.
You can visit Ýr's installation for Work In Progress from February 1-28, at TAC Manhattan studio, and learn more about her work and process during Artist Open Hours, on Saturdays 2-5PM.