Project 9 GOW at GNM
28th September - 28th October 2011

Dawn Felicia Knox

Spinning, Always Spinning.

Spinning, always spinning.
The fibre, the story and the intent catch then intertwine.

Each knit object on display is an unabridged newspaper.  The last News of the World, The New York Times from New Year’s Eve, the Metro from the Day of the Dead and The Telegraph from the day he was killed; each ripped, spun and knit. This was done to preserve, to hold the story of each violent act which was photographed, described and printed. This is done in remembrance. It is done to mend.

Knitting is the winding of three threads, serving three functions. The first; we knit to create objects which protect the physical body from the elements.  Secondly, knitting is a conduit for sharing narratives about society, family and identity. The third thread is the hidden thread and the one that binds us all together; the magical, the mythic.

This idea of the three functions is most clearly articulated in Ganseys, the nearly water proof jumpers which women of old would knit for their men to wear to sea.  Each woman was taught to knit them by her mother who was taught by her mother and on back through time. The generations would spin yarns and tell of how it was and how to make it be. They would knit symbolic patterns into the garment both as markers to prompt the stories and in attempts to magic their men home.  A double cabled zigzag was to remind both the man and woman about the ups and downs of married life. A single cabled zigzag, lightning, to protect from the deadly bolts. If the symbolic spell casting failed the bodies of the men were identified by the distinct pattern each woman knit. The time of Ganseys was a time of interconnectivity and clear identity. As we moved to a place of industrialization we lost the skill, the stories and the knowledge that we were knitted into a wider fabric of humanity. It was from this that research I began to spin my own story.

Spinning, always spinning...
The fibre, the story and the intent catch then intertwine.
All the way back to the first spinning, the first fibre and the first story. Back to where it all began with the first woman alone in the world, her hunger, a split rib and spinning, always spinning. Spinning a thread from the fur, leaf and fibre shed towards her loneliness by the animals and plants and using the needles she made from her own rib which she plucked from her chest and split; she knit the fabric of humanity. It was from that fabric all of us came and it is that fabric which tears each time we enact violence upon each other. The acts of violence, the tearing of the fabric leaves us feeling separate and alone. So, it must be mended, in the beginning by the first woman and now by the eldest of her lineage. Each act of violence spoken while the daughter spins and each victim honoured while she knits. Each new piece knit is placed upon the tear in the original tapestry like a poultice, like a patch, like a skin graft. Now the violence need not be spoken; it is printed on the fibres. But, the ripping, spinning and re-knitting must go on. The fabric must be mended.


Dawn Felicia Knox’s work is a distillation of extensive research, constructed narratives and acquired ephemera to create art objects. More of her work can be found at and










Dawn Felicia Knox


Exhbition in GNM

Last News of the World


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