When I think of crochet playgrounds, I immediately think of Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam who began creating them in the 1970s and gained widespread attention for her work a few years ago. I then think of Ernesto Neto and the projects by collectives Numen and Suspension of Disbelief. It would be remiss not to also include the work by artist Cathy Bertel who creates suspended crochet nets wrapped around exercise balls to create interactive swings.
Her work has a terrific sense of humor and play, referencing caterpillars, dragons and other fanciful creatures. Urban Crafts says, “Her crochet can result in different shapes and forms, from a couch to an inflatable castle. She’s guided by the inspiration that comes to her as she’s assembling different modules.”
Cathy was able to quit her previous job in the past year so that she can focus on working full-time as a crochet artist, creating temporary art installations at a variety of sites. Cathy, who also goes by the name Den Draad, was awarded the 2016 Urban Crafts Award, a competition with 30+ other artists in Belgium.