An knitting project called Knit For The River were looking for a project that could deliver a piece of outdoor art. However the desired brief included that it become physically part of the River Cam riparian habitat. The concept was created by Caroline Wright as part of the To The River commission for Cambridge County Council. https://totheriver.info/ The idea was to include as many knitters as possible from all over Cambridge, either from different community groups or knitting groups or just individuals attending one of the public knitting sessions at the Museum of Cambridge. This involvement lead to over a hundred knitters taking part and producing over four hundred 10cm x 10cm squares of knitting. The issue then was how to integrate this into the river environment? As luck would have it, a solution was found which fitted in nicely with the much needed bank restoration work due at Byron’s Pool nature reserve.
The method of restoration being used was the installation of coir rolls. These rolls are made up of coconut fibres and can be pre-planted with native riverside plant species. Firstly the coir rolls are staked to the side to the eroded bank. Then over time with silt deposition and the action of the plant root growth the rolls become essentially the new bank.
Working with local artist Cathy Dunbar the idea was to attach a strip of knitting (made up of the four hundred knitted squares) to these pre-planted coir rolls. The rolls would then be installed in to the eroded sections of the river bank and become part of the new restored bank. These rolls are now in-situ at Byron’s Pool reserve in two locations along the river bank.
This ingenious art project has been fully documented in the Artsadmin blog.https://www.artsadmin.co.uk/blog/368/Lessons-learnt-from-Artsadmin