The first piece I saw by Waltener was ‘Aunty Peggy has departed’ This beautiful crocheted artwork is stunning and such a unique and cleverly executed idea. The delicacy, intricacy and skill of lace being likened to cobwebs, showing how this skill is becoming a relic of the past.
Whilst he has done more installations with lace cobwebs the majority of his work is now interactive. They invite the audience to contribute by weaving, stitching and knotting, and is in doing so reflect on how craft is a ritualised and communal activity.
What strikes me is that often the pieces look disorganised and confusing whilst being made, an area I definitely have issue with. Once the pieces are complete and occasionally moved to a new position it all comes together and forms a cohesive piece, even though made by so many.
His installation ‘Knitting Piece’ I think is very intriguing and goes well I think the theme for our exhibition. A large loop is cast onto multiple pairs of circular needles, sharing the process with multiple people. The aim is removed from the final piece, the focus instead is on knitting and the social aspects of the art, with the final pieces being put on display at a later date. I find this work much more satisfying then when it is the weaving and knotting as well.
However, by requiring participants to have the skill of knitting in order to contribute it greatly reduces the number of people who can partake.