Blog by artist/printmaker Dawn Cole
The Silence of Knitting
Mon 11th Nov 11am
At a place overlooking the River Mersey
Performed by Liz Hide
Here is Liz’s response to the event
As I knitted, I thought about two brothers, William and Garnet, who were (I think) distant great uncles of my dad and were both killed as young men in the First World War. Maybe fifteen or twenty years ago, my mum traced, and met, two elderly ladies who had been engaged to William and Garnet before they went to war. After losing their young men in the war, neither of the ladies had gone on to marry, but had remained friends for all these years since.
I never met those ladies, I don’t know their names, and I certainly don’t know whether they knitted. But I imagine how they, and countless of their peers, might have knitted their love into socks to ease the awful privations of William and Garnet in the trenches. And when their boys didn’t come back, I imagine how these young women might have knitted their pain into soft and fine clothes to wear close to their skin. They never had children to dress in knitted love; did they knit for each other, for wounded and damaged young men who had returned, or curse the needles and never touch them again? I think too about the socks that they might have made, on the feet of William and Garnet, finely crafted, each stitch a message of love, ultimately unravelling in the mud of the battlefield.
11 November 2013
Photographs courtesy of Liz Hide
The Silence of Knitting was conceived by Dawn Cole and was part of Silent Cacophony that took place across London and beyond