Friday, August 28, 2009

Knitting Sprawl - St. John's, Newfoundland, Part 2

Mack Furlong of CBC's Weekend Arts Magazine. Our talk will air this weekend at some point either Saturday or Sunday morning.

And some more photographs from out and around St. John's:

Unfortunately reducing the resolution of the photographs for a web post results in a loss of a lot of the nice details in the photographs, so you will have to use your imagination a little.

I attended the third knit together on Wednesday evening, which was composed mostly of people who had been to the previous one. Somehow, after only two meetings I felt like I would be back next week and each week thereafter. They really made me feel welcomed, and not just welcomed, but part of the group. I had to remind myself more than once that I wouldn't be there next week. Then I wondered if this is how it will be - that the intimacy of knitting together will immediately create a little tie of connection that, in turn, creates a little sting when I realize that I probably won't be back. Or, in this case, maybe I will since I know we will be back in St. John's again before too long. 

When I try to explain to people why I thought getting together with knitters was a good way to gain access to the communities I am visiting, they often replied that any group that meets would probably be the same but I am not so sure. Is there something unique about knitting together rather than, say, playing the accordion together?

An important part of this project is developing new work based on these conversations and photographs for each region.  I did feel things clicking together as I went about doing both.  One surprise here in St. John's came when I was in Paradise.  I drove through a new development that backed on to two other developments, each one clearly successively older.  What struck me was how the two older developments looked like, well, Newfoundland.  It wasn't really the houses so much but what had been added and subtracted and what was in the yards.  It was as if the place was stronger than the attempt to neutralize it (by building houses that looked like they could be built anywhere).  

To me, Newfoundland has such a strong feeling of place - it is part of why it has such a pull on me, and on so many who come here.  It was fascinating to observe that this sense of place goes beyond landscape or people-scape.  It is intangible and yet ever present.

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