The Forres Toorie
Funded by Findhorn Bay Arts as part of the Project Arts Awards, The Forres Toorie was recorded on a Sunday cycle around the town I live in. It grew from a piece of work I had made in response to a residency I did in Canada alongside other craft practitioners including spinners and weavers. I processed the recordings, extracted frequencies from certain sections, put the frequencies through cymatic pattern generating software and then chopped, manipulated and layered the patterns until I had something that I could translate into a Fairisle knitting pattern the could be worked in the round. Then I knitted it into a Toorie. You can hear some of the recordings here
If you want to knit your own Forres Toorie you can download the pattern, charts and instructions as PDFs
forres toorie instructions
forres toorie both charts colour
A heavenly knitted cloud installation in an elevator in Rose Street Carpark, Inverness, Scotland. Commissioned by Inverness Old Town Art and made by Jennifer Cantwell and Annie Marrs, December 2011 With a soundtrack of Utopian departure lounge information messages which can be heard here
‘Birdsong’ is an exhibition of knitted soundpieces. It encompasses machine knitting, sound processing software and mobile phone technology. In ‘Birdsong’ there are 4 knitted birdboxes that are intertwined with coloured flex. Each birdbox has a soundpiece inside it and its own headphones. There is also a knitted map of Britain, Ireland and the islands, and a ‘letter home’ done in sounwaves. The knitted fairisle patterns on the birdboxes are based on the soundfiles of birdsongs and ambient sound recorded in specific locations in Scotland, the coordinates of which are knitted into the map. The sounds were processed using Logic Pro music software and I worked with the soundwaves, the midi templates and the velocity peaks visually, making patterns out of them. The patterns are site specific, a visual representation of the sounds of the area, a tag, an identifier, like a football strip or a school uniform, an expansion on the idea of a regional Gansey or Aran jumper. I worked with sound designer Dave Martin to record a sonic snapshot of each area. There is a qr code beside each box that when scanned on a smartphone takes the viewer to the location of the recording via googlemaps. ‘Birdsong’ looks at issues of immigration, emigration, identity and belonging. Playing with the idea of visually branding an area by taking something ambient and completely natural from it ie birdsong and the sounds of everyday life and analyzing it and turning it into a product using mechanisation and technology, then presenting it as a physical object, a sound piece and a geotagged link to an online visual + audio map via a barcode and a smartphone, taking the exhibition out of the gallery and into the virtual world.
A Makers film about the processes and thoughts involved in making the work was made by filmmaker Catherine Weir
Individual soundpieces can be heard here or scan the qr codes and follow the links
Cassette Tape Crochet Lace
The cassette doilies are part of a series of random classic album pieces, all the cassettes are bought in second hand shops, found or given, all the patterns were found, given or free online and date from the 1920’s to the 1970’s. I’m a 2nd hand shop rummager and the things I’m always drawn to are pieces of crochet lace, books, vinyl and cassettes, these pieces of work are the first that are made as a response to the feelings I get when I see a piece of work that’s taken many hours and has now been discarded or an album thats been listened to over and over again and now replaced with newer technology, or an old library book stamped many times and now on a thrift shop shelf. I think about the many times that object was handled during its making/listening/reading and about the thoughts and the feelings, hopes and aspirations experienced during that time by the anonymous owner/maker.