Hello all! My name is Amy Reader and I am the artist behind the 100 Women Project. This project invites women from around the world to participate in a collaborative crochet installation by asking them to crochet at least one wisteria vine and mail it to me. Once all the vines are collected, they will be displayed in an installation inspired by the wisteria tunnels in Japan. This installation will be shown as part of my senior thesis art exhibition in late April and early May. This project is the culmination of my four years as an art major at the University of Richmond and has come to represent more than just the end of my college education.
My grandmother taught me to crochet when I was 8 and I have loved it ever since. As an artist, my creativity has existed in two worlds – the more traditional arts including painting, drawing and printmaking and the crafty world of crocheting, knitting and sewing. For the past year I’ve been seeking out a way to combine these two creative spheres because they are both important to my artistic identity. Recently, I decided to work with yarn because of the flexibility of the material and nearly endless color and texture possibilities. Yarn can carry the properties of line when it is not crocheted or knitted, but can easily take on form and volume.
After settling on yarn as the medium, I knew I wanted to use wisteria because the plant is not only beautiful, but also resilient and strong. This is what led me to creating the 100 Women Project. Throughout the past 22 years of my life, I have had incredible and strong female role models from my grandmother who bravely moved her family to the other side of the world to my mother who decided the best way to celebrate her 50th birthday was by running her first marathon and my roommate who sees injustice in the world and is fiercely committed to fighting for the rights of those whose voices are not heard. That is only the beginning of a long list, but it is these women that inspired me to open this project up to all women across the world. In this project, I am not only collecting vines made of yarn, but I am collecting a bit of the personality of the woman who made it.
Each woman who participates is also asked to fill out an index card with their name, hometown and any other information they would like to share and send that in with their vine. The additional information is left up to the woman and can be anything from an interesting fact, to a piece of wisdom or a story they would like to share. These cards will be compiled in a book that will be displayed along with the exhibition so that viewers can not only see the different personalities and stories represented in the colorful vines, but also read about them.
The pattern for the wisteria vines is very flexible – there is no required yarn weight or hook size and the colors of the yarn are left up to the person that crochets the vine. This was intentional because this way each vine is unique to each woman. So far I have had women participating from six different countries and this is only the beginning. I am so thankful for the positive response to this project and look forward to reading all of the stories and finishing the final installation.
More information can be found at www.100womencrochet.wordpress.com, including how to participate. Pieces are due in Richmond by April 10, 2015. Any questions about the 100 Women Project can be directed to Amy at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow this project on social media under #100womenproject