“Strit!” is a Danish word for strutting or sticking out, and it became the title for this social art project I made in close collaboration with a group of special needs women from the textile workshop at Kraftværket in Copenhagen, Denmark. Kraftværket is a hub run by Copenhagen council that offers several types of jobopportunities for people with developmental handicaps.
Normally this group of women create everyday textile products for the home, such as rugs and teatowels. But we came together in this project, to create an immersive textile art installation in the gallery at Kraftværket and beyond. The installation worked its way out of the windows and crept outside the gallery’s bounds with imaginative potted plants placed around the café next door. The gates of the building were taken over by colourful scraps and we made a set of scrap wigs you could wear, to become part of the installation. All the way down the street small “stone flowers” were placed, creating a sort of Hansel and Gretel inspired trail of textile art, tempting people from the area to come closer.
The project was launched with a great big streetparty with south american music by the band Trypical Cumbia and hundreds of people came together across social devides to enjoy this colourful installation of textile art, made entirely from left-over materials that would otherwise have been discarded. We both used leftover textile materials from the textile workshop and we also went around the neighbourhood asking small shops and manufacturing businesses for their left-over scrap materials. In many ways this was a project centered around using untapped potential to create something unique and exciting to connect people in this area of Copenhagen, that is among one of the most socially diverse and challenged ones.