Yarn bombing brightens winter gloom at Reigate’s Priory Park

PUBLISHED: 14:19 13 December 2013 | UPDATED: 14:19 13 December 2013

Yarn bombing in Reigate

Yarn bombing in Reigate


Reigate residents struggling through the winter gloom have seen spirits cheered by the first ever yarn bombing of Priory Park.

Sam Emblem, head of art at Dunottar Reigate School for GirlsSam Emblem, head of art at Dunottar Reigate School for Girls

The whole of Dunottar Reigate School for Girls contributed to this creative arts sensation – sometimes called guerrilla knitting – a type of a type of street art that employs colourful displays of knitted or crocheted yarn.

The temporary art installation, which features a colourful array of wrapped trees, woollen cobwebs, dangling pompoms and even a suspended bicycle, is the brainchild of Sam Emblem, head of art at Dunottar.

“Yarn bombing has inspired many knitters to do something beyond functional, changing the face of craft and taking it into the arena of art installation,” she says. “It has brought a community feel to the students participating, leading them to understand that, in this world of increasing technology and overdevelopment, they can be empowered to beautify their environment.

“Students have learnt that they do not need to be an artist to take part. Through an expressive and decorative form of what could be termed ‘graffiti knitting’, everyone can join in. The yarn bombing is also for everyone to enjoy: it puts smiles on faces; encourages pride in surroundings; and brightens up these darker winter months.

Yarn bombing in ReigateYarn bombing in Reigate

“All year groups have taken part, from Year 6 through to Year 13. They have worked together in large groups over lunches and break times, learning what could be termed the old-fashioned skills of knitting and crocheting to create a vibrant and new form of art installation.”

Popularised in Madrid, Mexico City, Paris, Vancouver, Copenhagen and Bali, yarn bombing is sweeping the world. Reigate is now firmly on the map.

As regular Surrey Life readers will know, other yarn bombing hotspots in Surrey include the Dorking Cockerel and the town of Farnham, which hosts its annual Unravel knitting festival in February.

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