Robere Mertens is a creative crochet artist who uniquely blends this yarn-based art with other areas of art. Sure, he is familiar with other yarn-based arts and needlecrafts. But his work is more than that – he blends crochet with sound appropriation and composition in unique installations that make big statements. His work is worth checking out.
More about Crochet Artist Robere Mertens
Robere Mertens is a Chicago-based crochet artist who has spent time living in Eugene, Oregon as well. His FashioningTech profile explains that he also does knitting, macrame, embroidery, quilting, felting and shibori. He also does instrument construction and makes DIE radios. He has a BFA with a concentration in sound and is getting an MFA in Fibers.
Brief Description of Mertens’ Crochet Work
Robere Mertens does abstract large-scale crochet work that combines different mediums to send a message. For example, Flavorwire reported on his crochet project titled Going Green. In this outdoor installation, Mertens created crochet nets (shown in the image above) “as a way to track movement and sound, crocheting in different directions based on different audio cues”.
Excerpt from Mertens’ Artist Statement
When I learned how to crochet from my grandmother, I recognized the similarities between sonic and craft based terminology and I began to create performances based on minute sounds created by craft techniques. These performance installations evolved into workshops focused on oral and physical modes of education. The installations also incorporate a sense of improvisation; there are no preplanned patterns involved in the construction. Furthermore, within these installations I am amplifying existing structures as a pedagogical way of conveying information or revealing hidden truths behind the materials form. I do this sometimes through sound, and sometimes audience participation. I insert craft-based, process-oriented materials into a space to reveal the subtle nuances of a skill set or address ecological subjects with an abstracted domestic modus operandi. I am interested in hyper- amplifying overlooked aspects of darning and re-appropriating practical domestic objects while addressing the specificity of environment. “Going Green”was a site-specific yarn installation on a train car created for the show “Art on Track”. Throughout the duration of the one night exhibit, the yarn installation continued to grow due to others and myself actively crocheting onto the piece. The piece resembled an artificial over growth of vegetation juxtaposed with the non-organic steel and glass of the train. The installation then moved to a gallery exhibit in the Flat Iron building and continued to grow through the same process.
Examples of the Crochet Artist’s Work
In addition to the Going Green Installation, some examples of Mertens’ crochet work include:
- Security Blanket. A knitted / crocheted blanket placed on an Irish mountainside to help protect the stones that are important to the local community members. Mertens did not just make a blanket. He made sure to use Irish knitting / crochet techniques relevant to the area. He also developed the pattern of the blanket based on the natural rock formations of the area where it was to be placed. Image:
- Parasite #1. I couldn’t find a lot of details about this one (other than that it’s called Facehugger Alien) but I have an image:
- Eavesdropping Web. The artist describes the project on his site as an installation that “consists of a crocheted yarn canopy secured to railings around a student lounge stairwell”. Basically there are microphones on the canopy that hang down, picking up conversations and broadcasting them on Internet radio. Hence, the eavesdropping.
Question for Readers
Do you know of any other readers who are exploring the relationship between sound and crochet?