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Art and Bikes

1 art ArtCycle Sydney bike Blog Posts cycle cycleways INDEX knit the city Powerhouse Museum Queen Street Gallery UNSW BE yarn storming

I recently received an email from a reader who let me know about the art installations from Queen Street Gallery in Glebe


Although I haven't been yet, I believe there are houses in the street with sculptures and installations in their front yards. Queen Street is only a few minutes awary from the Powerhouse Museum the sculptures can be viewed 24 hours a day.

I love the idea and will definitely add this gallery to one of our future cycle tours.

While we're in the vicinity of the Powerhouse Museum, I'm really hoping that when the museum finishes the refurbishment of its forecourt on Harris Street, it includes some of the bike racks which were designed as part of the Bike Rack as Art competition.

This entry, Quale by Chris Smith and Toby McInnes (former UNSW Built Environment students) was highly commended by the judges and was voted the People's Choice favourite. I'd love to see this one on Harris Street!

And while we're on the subject of art, ARtCycle Sydney and INDEX Space are currently preparing an exhibition as part of a larger initiative entitiled "The Gamut".

The exhibition "Sketching the Gamut    will involve drawing upon the face of the city, the rough outline of a circle. This form, called The Sydney Green Ring will not be drawn in pencil or ink, but in the topography and built environment of the living city. By mapping together and connecting existing infrastructure, green spaces, waterways, bicycle paths, sites of historical and artistic importance, The Gamut will both discover and inscribe this form in the awareness and imagination of its public. Thus emphasizing and iterating these implicit connections, The Gamut will endeavor to make them manifest, actualizing the circle into a unified, usable, sustainable form inscribed onto the already existing topography of the city (The Gamut)

While I'm not an artist, I was inspired to try out my creative skills in something that might be considered an ärt piece". So I've been developing an idea around "bike bling".

Bike Bling brings together crochet with a bike. It shows how art and transport can come together in innovative ways to both encourage cycling and the recognition of handmade design as a contemporary practice. Bike Bling will involve the entire ÿarn storming" of an ordinary mass-produced folding bike by incorporating long scarves of hyperbolic crochet. Hyperbolic crochet uses a special mathematical technique made famous by Margaret and Christine Wertheim in their Coral Reef project (exhibited at the Powerhouse Museum in 2009).


The scarves will incorporate a highly reflective yarn which adds an eerie dimension to the piece when viewed in low light. Bike Bling will be an illustration of how a mass-produced bike can be personalised through handmade design and more importantly, how a design intervention can be constructed to showcase creative practice while maintaining the original function of the bike.

How do you like that for a first go at an artistic statement!

I don't know whether it will be accepted but I've got a bit of time in the wee hours of the morning which used to be designated for sleep so I'll use those to develop the full prototype!

This is what the scarves look like off the bike!

Any ideas most welcome!




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  • Angelina Russo on

    Hi RichardI love the idea of clicky wizziness sounds! Will have to think about how to incorporate such things. I’m currently working on the complete bike yarn storm and would love to hear your feedback when it’s complete.CheersA

  • Richard Monfries on

    Bling is definitely required on a bike that is used daily!My bike gets me to and from work, but on other days it’s a kiddy mover, and with kids on board I want a more visible presence to those that might wander into our path; so we’ve got a multi-coloured wizzy thingy tied to the front of the bike that people actually seems to see! And the clicky wizziness of sounds (secretly to me anyway) like a Campagnolo groupset.Bling? Definitely!cheersRichard

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