Well it takes a while. It’s a big thing. Lots of surface area and lots of very tricky bits. I could never have done it without the fantastic help of my two assistants Nasima and Taslima. We’ve been working together for more than 5 years and over that time they’ve come to understand that when I come up with an idea that initially sounds quite bizarre, it will all turn out fine in the end. The final knitted rickshaw wasn’t just fine, it was great! It brought so many smiles to people’s faces around Dhaka.
So a very very big thank you to Nasima and Taslima – here they are working on the rickshaw
We had a lot of laughs making the rickshaw and I wanted to reflect that here in the blog, so I asked Nasima and Taslima to sit on the rickshaw so I could take their picture. They couldn’t stop laughing for long enough to have a picture. Clearly, if you want some fun in Dhaka then all you need to do is make a knitted rickshaw.
We were all delighted with the final result. Since I don’t draw so well it was all in my head until it finally emerged and there was only me who really knew how it would look once complete. This is the final result, after a few rounds of Gulshan it was hauled up 10 flights of stairs onto a Gulshan roof as an art installation for a party.
That was on the 25th February 2011. Very poignant for me because it was my Mum’s birthday. My mum died nearly 2 years ago now but she taught me to knit and she will always be with me through that. When I learnt to knit it was a time when it wasn’t fashionable to knit, when mothers had stopped teaching their daughters how to knit, so I was one of the lucky ones. My mum with endless patience taught me before I went to school and before I could write my name and that’s too many years ago for me to count.
When I decided to do this a couple of weeks ago, my intention was to create street art – quite literally – art that travelled around the streets and then was no more. I was inspired by http://www.knitthecity.com and particularly their most recent giant squid. But the knitted rickshaw has proved something of a hit in Dhaka and I’ve received requests and suggestions for where it should go next. Maybe street art can be enduring and transitory all at the same time.