Points of Departure | wisconsinacademy.org
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Points of Departure

Migratory Pattern, 2023, Paper (roadmap of the Continental US and land map of Canada interwoven) 13 x 18 inches

In my work, I ruminate quite a bit on the concept of change. The way words change, for instance, depending on context. The way land changes, depending on natural disasters, weather, and human impact. I’ve observed that the experience of a place or time can change, depending on how we perceive ourselves in that time, or at that place. Ten years ago, when I made the Global Warming bikinis, I could be glib about climate change and knit up some bikinis to predict what would happen to important Northern knitting traditions, once sweaters became obsolete. It was funny and the research was enjoyable. Knitting traditions informed each other; people moved around the globe and shared ideas. Ten years seems like a fairly short time when one considers the age of the earth and how long people have been weaving and knitting cloth and stitching things together to survive. However, so much can change in a short period of time. Now I’ve seen dozens of art exhibitions addressing climate change, and while my observations on knitting’s evolution are still valid, I don’t find things so humorous anymore.


Alison Gates (Appleton) is an artist, academic, educator, writer, researcher, feminist, and reviewer who cultivates flax and natural dyes on the side. She works primarily in assemblage sculpture and stitched or knitted/knotted textiles with emotional and political content.

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