Croshare at Aspex Gallery Portsmouth for Antiuniversity Now, June 2016

Croshare at Antiuniversity Now 2016 – What did Sharon think?

As we hold more Croshare sessions, I realise that the project is so much more than merely teaching and learning crochet skills. For the relatively brief duration of each session, we end up creating a small community of people. Often these people have never met before and their prior knowledge of crochet varies. Yet after a just a short time together, we find that we are sharing more than skills. Participants also share stories and life experiences. These are as varied as the crochet skills that they bring to the session. Holding the hook and yarn, participants relax and start to bond with each other.

I find that I am both participating in and observing these interactions as the same time. There is something very intimate about leaning in and showing someone how to hold the yarn. Both teacher and learner are open to allow this unusually close proximity and it is this intimacy that sparks a feeling of belonging to the group.

Situated in the wonderful surroundings of Aspex, Croshare at Antiuniversity Now ran the risk of not being as intimate as other Croshare events when we have been alone in a room. Sitting in the reception area, visitors to the gallery passed us to go to the café or to participate in the family event that was also happening in the space at the same time. Yet rather than feel on display, we were as cosy as could be, curled up on their gorgeous sofa, nestled between colourful cushions and lit from above by a fabulous oversized Anglepoise lamp. We could have been in our own living room. It was this cosiness that added to the intimate atmosphere and helped to make this Croshare event a success.

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