Croshare – participatory arts & crafts at Antiuniversity now 2016

Croshare is a part crochet workshop, part participatory art project organised by the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries Research Associate Tom West, and Artist Sharon Bennett taking place at Aspex Gallery on Saturday 11th June as part of the nationwide programme of Antiuniversity Now 2016 events.

Visitors to the free drop-in event at Aspex will be able to both learn and teach crochet, sharing skills as they also share advice and anecdotes about their experience and expertise with both the artists and other participants. The sessions are a fun introduction or ‘top-up’ to crochet and a fantastic opportunity to make like-minded friends from the local area.

To get involved, simply turn up at Aspex, Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth, between 11am and 3pm on Saturday 11 June 2016. Yarn, hooks and know-how will be supplied.

Croshare is a participatory art event in which knowledge of, and skills for, crochet are passed on from artists to participants in an exploration of the relationship between the master and the apprentice. In addition, over the course of the event, participants will be invited to contribute to the creation of a crochet artefact that ‘travels’ from one Croshare event to another, evolving organically over the course of these to become a work of art crafted by many hands, representing the richness gained by the coming together of a community of circumstances.

Croshare also builds on the continuing trend for reviving fibre-based crafts outside the domestic sphere; Croshare situates crochet in a contemporary art practice framework in which, over the course of a Croshare event, the acts of teaching and learning became art themselves.

Artist Sharon Bennett, Croshare co-founder, said ‘We are very much looking forward to presenting Croshare at Aspex as part of the Antiuniversity Now festival. Every event is different. As artists, we don’t know what will happen as the day unfolds. It is both thrilling and nerve-racking.’

Aspex has a long and proud history of supporting visual arts through engagement and participation with artists and their creative processes. Ollie Tubb, Marketing and Communications Co-ordinator at Aspex, said ‘We are incredibly excited to welcome Croshare to Aspex as part of Antiuniversity Now, and on the opening day of our newly renovated space. The sharing of creative skills is very much in line with gallery’s aim of supporting local and emerging artists and makers.’

Initiated in 2015, Antiuniversity Now is a collaborative experiment to revisit and reimagine the Antiuniversity movement of late 1960s London that wanted to break the structures forced by institutions such as schools, universities and hospitals, and to allow people to meet each other without having to act out socially prescribed roles. It aims to challenge academic and class hierarchy and exclusivity by inviting people to organise and share free learning events in public spaces all over the country. It is free, open and inclusive. For more information, please visit the website here.

Use #icroshared on Twitter and Instagram to share your experiences of Croshare at Antiuniversity Now 2016, and visit the Croshare website to keep up to date with the latest news.

Follow Croshare on Instagram and Twitter: @croshare. Search for ‘Croshare’ on Facebook.

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