Menu
The New Contemporary Art Magazine

Olek Takes Crocheting Underwater for Her Latest Project in Mexico

Always searching for new applications for her crochet practice (see our coverage of her crocheted train and crocheted boat as well as our extensive feature in Hi-Fructose Vol. 29), Olek recently traveled to the Caribbean for an underwater installation in Isla Mujeres, Mexico.

Always searching for new applications for her crochet practice (see our coverage of her crocheted train and crocheted boat as well as our extensive feature in Hi-Fructose Vol. 29), Olek recently traveled to the Caribbean for an underwater installation in Isla Mujeres, Mexico.

The tiny island off the coast of Cancun is home to a large population of whale sharks, the largest species of fish on the planet. To make a statement of caution about the declining global shark population, Olek chose to cover two sculptures in Isla Mujeres’ underwater musuem, Museo Subacuatico de Arte (MUSA) with her loud, camouflage crochet. The MUSA is an underwater sculpture park created to encourage the natural growth of coral reefs and has been open to the public since 2010 (though scuba diving skills are a must to be able to go see it).

For the project, Olek used safe, biodegradable materials and colors that mimic the reds, yellows and browns of the coral reef. The artist was inspired by a quote from Jason DeCaires Taylor, the original sculptor of the pieces in the MUSA, comparing the global oceans’ health to a ticking time bomb as ecosystems decline from overfishing and pollution. She specifically chose to crochet the bomb sculptures as a symbol of solidarity and call for environmental protection.

After the underwater installation, Olek collaborated with Tre Packard of the marine life-focused non-profit Pangeaseed on a graceful photo series featuring divers donning crochet mermaid tails, camouflage bodysuits and butterfly wings stitched from delicately crocheted doilies. While few would think of crochet as anything other than terrestrial, Olek continues to think beyond its limits and surprise her viewers along the way.

Select images courtesy of Tre Packard/Pangeaseed.

Meta
Share
Facebook
Reddit
Pinterest
Email
Related Articles
Tara Donovan's sculptures look like they may have been built by an insect colony with a hive mind. One can imagine thousands of tiny creatures each carrying index cards or acrylic threads, dropping them to form a sculpture growing from a gallery floor. That is to say, Donovan's work process is highly repetitious, stacking, gluing and sculpting mundane materials until they begin to take on new, organic forms. Several of the artist's latest large-scale sculptures are currently on display in a dual exhibition at Pace Gallery's Menlo Park, CA and New York City art spaces.
Oscar Oiwa’s latest 360-degree drawing, “Paradise,” is hosted in Japan House in São Paulo. The Brazil-born artist is known for both his immersive installations and his canvas pieces, with the artist’s work on display at the space until June 3. The artist used 120 marker pens inside of an inflatable dome to create the new work.
German artist Tobias Rehberger's work is all about illusion. His installations transform rooms into Op Art-inspired, immersive environments that trick the eye. Criss-crossing, black and white patterns flatten the three-dimensional spaces, confusing his viewers' sense of depth with busy patterns that continue from floor to ceiling. Rehberger's sculptures are similarly entrancing with their bright colors and geometric forms. Though abstract at a first glance, many of his works cast shadows that form textual messages, adding another dimension of experience to the pieces.
It’s no surprise that Saudi Arabia-born, Arizona-based artist/teacher Nathaniel Lewis was once a toy designer. Yet, although some of his newer sculptures have the bright, primary color schemes and wooden textures of old-school toys for children, the themes of series like “Little Terrors” are decidedly more complex. Depicting a TSA line, with workers, equipment, and explosives, Lewis confronts a common source of tension, anxiety, and frustration for adults.

Subscribe to the Hi-Fructose Mailing List