Menu
The New Contemporary Art Magazine

Olek Joins Forces with Maitri India to Celebrate International Women’s Day

International Women's Day is celebrated on March 8th every year. In different regions, the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation, and love towards women for their economic, political, and social achievements. To mark the occasion, artist Olek joined forces with humanitarian NGO Maitri in a public art performance in New Delhi, India.

International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8th every year. In different regions, the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation, and love towards women for their economic, political, and social achievements. To mark the occasion, artist Olek joined forces with humanitarian NGO Maitri in a public art performance in New Delhi, India.

Last November, Olek was horrified to learn that one-third of men in India, where spousal rape is legal, admit to having forced a sexual act on their wives. The Polish-born street artist, well known for her candy colored crocheted installations featured in Hi-Fructose Vol. 29, had to do something. “I decided to make a statement about it and show my solidarity with women here in Delhi, India and anywhere else in the world,” she shared in an email to Hi-Fructose.

The project used crochet as a medium to demonstrate women’s ability to multi-task, recreate and reinvent themselves. “I started with a solo performance in front of India gate. 
The black ribbon covering my eyes symbolizes how blind the west is to women’s situation in India. Then I moved to Central Park, CP New Delhi, and joined 25 women with various backgrounds in public action.” Her mission with Maitri is to create awareness and bring about change, furthering and improving the rights of women in India.

“We feel passionate about celebrating the power and potential of women and will do this by demonstrating that like art, women can and should always be confidently recreating themselves. Women play an important role in society and in India,” Olek says.

“We were crocheting by unraveling the white aprons in a continuous loop over the course of two hours. The artwork was thus destroyed as it was created, and created out of its own destruction in an infinite circle. Like the perpetual punishments of Sisyphus and Prometheus, a woman’s work is never finished.”

Meta
Share
Facebook
Reddit
Pinterest
Email
Related Articles
In October 2015, Hi-Fructose Vol. 29 featured artist Olek visited the Virginia MOCA for a special workshop with community members and to plan a large-scale public artwork on site that will raise awareness about the waters near Virginia Beach. Over the weekend, the New York-based artist's project was unveiled at the opening of Turn the Page: The First Ten Years of Hi-Fructose - a larger than life future New York Times article covering the facade of the museum entrance. Olek's mural, crocheted in a photo-realistic style, imagines our Earth Day headline news in 2020.
San Francisco-raised artist Kat Toronto blends performance art and photography under the working name of Miss Meatface, using both vintage Polaroid and contemporary methods. The artist says part of her work stems in having been diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2010 and subsequently having to receive a full hysterectomy. Toronto now uses her moniker "as an artistic and spiritual catalyst to delve into a complex set of questions about where she fits into society as a woman."
Performance artist Butch Locsin is also known as a "Skeleton of Color." The Los Angeles-based artist has appeared in several videos, photographs, and multimedia pieces donning a number of skull masks and vibrant attire and accessories. Each of these works are a collaboration with artists from around the world. Recent artist partnerships include Rolando McFarlane, StreetWiseLA, Jonathan Gallegos, and more.
While some artists view yarn bombing as purely decorative, Olek (HF Vol. 29) often swathes objects in crochet to draw attention to important socio-political issues. Known for the outspoken messages in her large-scale, colorful work, she was recently invited to create a piece in New Delhi, India for the St+art Delhi street art festival. For her canvas, Olek chose one of the local homeless shelters called “Raine Basera,” which provide people with temporary lodging overnight. With the help of legions of volunteers and donations from Indian fashion labels, Olek beautified the shelter with bright yellow, purple, and red crocheted fabrics that evoke India's famously vibrant textiles. Though it's visually alluring, the piece ultimately imparts a sobering message about the reality of poverty in New Delhi — and many major cities around the world.

Subscribe to the Hi-Fructose Mailing List