May 16, 2013 - January 20, 2014
Philadelphia artist Melissa Maddonni Haims
uses the very traditional craft forms of crocheting and knitting to create her
unique sculptural objects. Haims’s repertoire includes large-scale installations,
small sculpture, and yarn bombing or knit graffiti -- an art form where artists
covertly place handmade knitted collars on public street objects like a parking
meter, bike rack, or telephone pole. Yarn bombing is harmless, often humorous,
and it’s a way to bring knitting into the public forefront.
But Haims didn’t start knitting and crocheting
until 2006, when her mother -- a master knitter, became suddenly ill. Her
mother asked her to finish a scarf that she had started but was unable to finish.
After her passing, Haims completed all of her mother’s projects that were left
in progress including a sweater that her mom started for her. But Haims didn’t
finish the sweater as her mom intended. Instead, she transformed the sweater
into a sculpture of the ocean complete with 3-dimensional jelly fish.
At the same time, Haims also crotched herself
a 4-layer birthday cake with rainbow piping surrounding each tier. For Haims,
it represented the birthday cake that her mother might have baked for her. It
was that first crocheted cake that became the inspiration for a series of cakes
that are a heartwarming remembrance of endless birthdays and all of the
celebratory moments of our lives.