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Smithsonian Gets “Yarnbombed”

Photos: John Gibbons, Smithsonian

Photos: John Gibbons, Smithsonian


If you visit the Smithsonian Castle this Labor Day weekend, you’ll be seeing red—yarn, that is. The entrance gate to the Haupt Garden, light poles, benches and guide ropes leading to the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery have been “yarnbombed,” or swathed under layers of yarn, to highlight a new Sackler Gallery exhibition, “Perspectives: Chiharu Shiota.”

Using almost 6 miles of the same fire-proofed yarn used in the art installation, more than 120 volunteers and knitting enthusiasts from around the Smithsonian assembled the “yarnbomb” under cover of darkness Aug. 28. Weather permitting, it will remain in place until the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 2.

“Perspectives: Chiharu Shiota,” which opens Aug. 30, is a room-filling installation created with 350 shoes collected by the artist, along with handwritten notes from the donors, all wrapped and linked with web-like strings of red yarn. A Japanese performance artist, Shiota is known for her emotionally charged monumental installations with everyday objects that evoke memory, loss and anxiety. She was recently selected as Japan’s representative at the prestigious 2015 Venice Biennale contemporary art exhibition and festival.

More information about “Perspectives: Chiharu Shiota” is available here.