Terry Orwell for Art-Sheep
New York-based artist Olek lately enlivened a homeless shelter in Delhi, India, with her vivid crochets which she swaddled all over the building. The “crochet-graffiti” artist, as she calls herself, uses her knitted tapestries to raise awareness regarding critical socio-political matters. This time, she was one of the commissioned artists of St+art art festival in Delhi, who set out to make homeless shelters more attractive in order to draw attention to the social issue of homelessness. According to the festival’s webpage, the aim is to give “a new face to these structures and visibility to the people who live in them”.
Olek, who is known for the explicit points she makes through her large-scale, colourful knitted works, used Raine Basera as her canvas, a local shelter that provides temporary overnight lodging for homeless people. She was assisted in her effort by numerous volunteers and Indian fashion labels that made donations. Olek transformed Raine Basera into a beautiful building of vibrant colours, such as red, yellow and purple, a result that brings in mind India’s legendary colourful fabrics.
Although truly satisfying to the eye, this project also carries the message of how much of an important issue is homelessness in India, as well as in other places of the world.