Crochet Artist: Joana Vasconcelos – Femininity and Society
by Hannah Ege
Joana Vasconcelos is a Portuguese artist who creates masterpieces with fiber arts and more – from sewing to crocheting to knitting to weaving, and also sculpting and creating masterpieces with metal and plastic.
All of her work, including her crochet work, weaves together themes of womanhood, femininity, strength, and societal roles. Her art challenges people to look at what defines women and women’s art and to question any assumptions made about those things.
Crocheted doilies, especially ones in white, are often what we think of as “grandma's crochet”. And yet, Vasconcelos pairs this with objects that aren't old (like computers) or feminine (like bulls) for a really intriguing effect.
Along with her larger than life crochet sculptures, in more recent years we have seen Joana make beautifully colorful art work from crochet, knitting and felting alike, that get framed and hung on the walls, creating a beautiful 3D type picture.
Joana finds inspiration through so many things - her culture, the complexity of life, woman's rights, and even the elements of nature. After a trip to Mexico, Joana shared that she became increasingly more aware of water as a life-giving resource that not everybody has immediate access to in their daily life.
This inspired many of her pieces as a way to highlight the reality of life under capitalistic consumerism.