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Cape: The Good News; 2008
45" x 55" Handknit from the New York TIMES plastic bags; beads and bells.

Cape: The Good News was knitted from NY TIMES plastic wrappers, acrylic yarn, 2000 beads and painted bells. It was created from nontraditional, discarded materials, in order to transform their functionality from garbage into a handmade object. The dailiness of the bags is invoked by their functionality, while the knitting process serves to convert the humble blue bag from nearly invisible detritus, into an object that evokes royalty and status. Where once the form, function and texture were considered immutable, the bags’ transformation into a cape suggests a similar change for the wearer.

There are other considerations, such as the the bags’ character and the skill of the artist. It’s important to note, the identity of the bags has not been obliterated. Their identity serves to remind both the observer and the wearer, of the ordinariness inherent in transformations. Furthermore, the artist’s hand is evident, giving these mass produced objects the status of a handcrafted object. The slow process of knitting suggests not only the care and patience needed to create the cape, but also that these bags are worthy of consideration. What was once beneath notice, has benefited from the artist’s skill, and the bags thereby have gained in meaning. Knitting serves to intensify not only the hue of the bags, but meaning itself. Each stitch multiplies their significance. Where once the bags had only served to relay the transient news of our world, now they point to more permanent values that celebrate the ordinary transformations that occur in daily life.
Cape: The Good News, was in the Framing AIDS 2008 show at the Queens Museum in December.