In the late afternoon of Sunday June 17, residents of the Tuscan town of Prato who were taking the traditional afternoon walk were surprised with a burst of unusual colour in piazza del Comune. The facade of the medieval Palazzo Pretorio was temporarily host to a large yarnbombing, the product of the UPrato project and an installation designed and assembled by the artist Beatrice Gallori. From June 18 to July 31 the installation will be moved to the courtyard of the Museo del Tessuto (ex-Campolmi).
The installation is a gigantic upwards pointing arrow, 2 meters wide and 5 meters high, and organizers declare that it is the largest authorized yarnbombing ever done in Italy. The work is composed of 20cm square pieces made by the public who used free kits distributed by BettaKnit to do so.
This is the first time that Prato has participated in International Yarnbombing day, a creative phenomenon that has taken off mostly in the United States. ‘Certainly Prato cannot miss out on this yarnbombing event given how strongly its economy is based on creativity,’ declares Francesca Fani, owner of BettaKnit and vice-president of the Unione Industriale di Prato. The installation was preceded by an Knitting in Public event on June 9th during which many of the squares were made.
The arrow points towards the sky as a symbol of hope, creativity and multiculturality. The knitting activities and the final installation were well received by the citizens of Prato who appreciated the positive message during these times of crisis. In fact, the participation of local yarn producers was very important to the project as they donated all the yarn; they are Be.Mi.Va., EcafilBest, Giorgini Silvano, Gi.Ti.Bi. Filati, Igea, Industria Italiana Filati, Linsieme Filati, Pecci Filati e Pinori Filati. 350 free kits were distributed.
Given this great participation, some squares were not used for the installation but will be donated to AIDS orphans in South Africa through KasCare. The UPrato distribution points at the Textile Museum and Miraglia group bars in Prato will continue to collect squares – from the kits or knitters’ own yarn – until July 31.
All the photos of the event are on FLICKR! If you made a square, go see the installation and photograph yourself pointing to your work. Then share it on twitter with the hashtag #uprato or send it to us at betta @ bettaknit.com so we can include you in the album! A huge thanks to all who participated.Tweet