Karen Mitchell

Give a little warmth.

I am an artist and I create works around the theme of memories, space, and time. I am also obsessed with creating works that take time to form, and the process often pushes me on to be more determined. In March 2014, I started working on ‘Borrowed Space and Time’, an installation work that sprung from a personal experience connected to the idea of sharing space and time. Using the medium of crochet, I want to literally capture the time taken to create a certain space. The work is on-going, and it has been shared in several public spaces.

While working on this crochet-based installation work, a friend and I started contributing our limited knitting and crochet skills to create scarves for charity. Together with some more friends, we created 100 scarves for a charity group. Continuing this effort, we decided to open this task to the public, and started a group on social media called ‘Give A Little Warmth’ in January 2015. The response was overwhelming and we had many people offering to help. At that moment, our only concern was to make sure we were able to reach the targeted number of knitted scarves.

However, this little warmth that was meant for the ones in need took an interesting turn. The contributors in the group not only surprised us with their generosity and skills in creating beautiful scarves, they also warmed our hearts as they returned the thanks to us. Many of them told us how happy they were and thanked us for giving them the opportunity to put their knitting and crocheting skills to good use. We also saw many contributors become good friends who meet up regularly to share ideas and tips about knitting, others who started new groups to cultivate their interest further, and beginners who took up the challenge to learn knitting and crocheting because they wanted to help.

While working on my crochet piece ‘Borrowed Space and Time’, which is about shared space and time, at the same time, in the group ‘Give A Little Warmth’ that I had created, people were also sharing their space and time. The charity project may have a different objective from my installation artwork, but it provides meaningful insights to my questions regarding shared space and time. I am not sure how big a space I am going to create through my artwork, or how much time I am going to spend on it. I think this is the kind of thing we do not need to consider, as long as we have made up our mind to do it. One thing for sure is that I will definitely share this space and time.

My obsession with creating works that take time has brought out the best in me.
Karen Mitchell