Welcome to my new monthly feature – Spotlight!
Spotlight will be an interview with an artist whose work I admire. It could be a knitter, a crocheter, a carver, a painter – anyone! I want to shine the light on amazing crafters/artists/creatives all over the world.
First up is Charlie Blackman, a knitter from Australia. I fell in love with her knitted movie scenes when I stumbled across her on Instagram. Her dynamic use of composition, fun bright colours and pop culture caught my eye and I couldn’t resist getting in touch.
– Please introduce yourself and your work
I’m a crafty girl from Melbourne, Australia. I’m currently living in Montreal with my boyfriend who is working as an acrobat in Cirque du Soleil’s new show. I’ve always loved to knit and make things and have taken advantage of this time living in a cold, snowy winter where I’m indoors all the time to create worlds out of wool – Woolly Worlds.
– What inspired you to create these amazing scenes?
I’ve always loved knitting and crafting, particularly making smaller things by hand that I can give personalities to and create stories around. I began years ago by focusing on knitting toys that I would give away as gifts, but then found it more creatively satisfying to work on more intricate projects, such as movie sets. Discovering stop motion was the next natural progression in my attempt to bring what I make “to life” and to tell stories through my craft.
– How do you develop/choose the ideas for scenes?
To be honest I don’t have a systematic approach, instead I have a list that I update constantly, adding and re-prioritising ideas based on what I’m most excited about in any given week. I absolutely love pop culture, film and music, so find inspiration in what I watch and listen to. I also find this an effective starting point, as people can usually look at something I’ve made and relate to what I’m referencing.
– What kind of preparation goes into a scene?
Everything you see has been entirely made by hand. I predominantly knit, however also dabble in clay, papier mache and paints. Before I start to make anything I brainstorm the idea and sketch out how it might look, then find a way to translate this into original knitting patterns. This and the stop motion element are extremely time consuming, but also very satisfying.
– I think my favourite image of yours is Fear and Loathing 1 – there’s such movement in the image – I feel like I’m along for the ride! Which one is your favourite?
My favourite is probably “Sandra in Space”, based on the film Gravity. It’s sentimental as it was one of my first scenes and I love how much expression I was able to convey given the lack of detail.
– Apart from creating awesome little knitted scenes what else do you like to get up to?
I’m a juggler in my spare time so have been enjoying living at Cirque du Soleil and having access to their training facilities.
– What are you planning for 2017?
I’m hoping to publish a book with some of my knitted patterns so that other people can create their own Woolly Worlds!
Thanks so much for that Charlie!