Artists put their own spin on Belfast graffiti art

By July 28, 2010News, Newsroom

Belfast people like to spin a good yarn and in August they will get the chance to see yards of colourful material brightening up their city.

‘Yarn bombing Belfast’ is part of August Craft Month and features the work of young artists and designer makers who will take to the streets to put a different spin on familiar landmarks and locations.

The famous sheep and shepherd outside the Waterfront Hall were the first to get the woolly jumper treatment and throughout next month skilled knitters such as Claire Concannon and Gemma Withers will wrap their imaginative creations around public property.

The idea of yarn bombing or ‘graffiti knitting’ originates from the US, where knitters decided to find new and creative ways of using leftover material.

The practice has really taken off, with artists and craftspeople throughout the world using knitted and crocheted materials to add splashes of colour and texture to their built environment.

Knitting and crocheting groups have been formed throughout the world as a reaction to the mass production of cheap garments, the destruction of old skills and the commercial exploitation of third world communities.

This project is just one of more than 40 events taking place during August Craft Month, which is organised by Craft NI.

This year, Craft NI has taken as the theme of August Craft Month, the aims and principles of the ‘Slow Movement’, which is about taking time to rediscover skills and experiences.

The month is filled with exhibitions, talks, workshops, demos and guerrilla craft throughout Northern Ireland where skilled international and local designer-makers are working with clay, wood, glass, metal, fabric and recycled products.

Joe Kelly, Director of Craft NI said he hoped the project would help inspire the public to find out more about the highly creative and skilled work of Northern Ireland’s designer makers.

“In recent years there has been an explosion of interest in working with textiles. It symbolises what August Craft Month is all about – knitting together traditional methods with contemporary ideas to make fresh and exciting artwork.

“Belfast, with its historical position as the hub of the linen industry, is an ideal place for people to rediscover the joy of working with textiles to make their own, unique products.

“The city is known for its colourful murals and street art. Yarn bombing is an extension of this communal and collaborative process of adding colour and interest through exploring familiar locations through the eyes of an artist.”

To find out more about the many events taking place during August Craft Month, visit


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