Coming to theatres today, Friday, June 24: YARN
Director Una Lorenzen and co-directors Heather Millard and Thordur Jonsson’s profile of artists working in an unusual medium had its world premiere at Göteborg this year. Screenings have followed at SXSW, Newport Beach, and Iceland’s Skjaldborg Doc fest.
Neither attempting a comprehensive overview nor an in-depth study of any particular artist, Lorenzen, Millard, and Jonsson instead offer a survey of a handful of creatives who utilize yarn – or at least the techniques of crochet and knitting with different materials – in their craft. Spanning several countries, and ranging from street art to gallery shows to experimental circus acts, the film, as with most surveys, stretches itself a bit thin without ever deeply engaging with some of the intriguing issues it broaches. Some artists, like Icelandic-born, eventually Cuban-based Tinna Thorudottir Thorvaldsdottir briefly speaks about the lack of respect shown to so-called “women’s work” – practical craftwork like knitting which often has served as an economic necessity for many households – while Japanese-born Canadian textile artist Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam notes how her work evolved out of gallery settings into public playgrounds – another domain not traditionally afforded high-art status. Had the film focused more on these artists and considered these concepts in greater detail, rather than expanding to less interesting strands like the work of Cirkus Cirkör, the resulting tapestry might have been more solidly constructed, not just visually inventive.