Photo: Lucia Reed

“Wave utilises a unique method in a traditional craft to create a metaphor that is both visual and literal. As the blue cloth ‘crashes’, layer after layer in the foreground of the image symbolising anxiety, it brings with it, ensnared within its very fabric, the remnants of the medication used to combat the same mental health problem. The cycle of anxiety/medication – medication/anxiety is thus ‘looped’ within the work, foregrounding the paradox of prescription medicine in the present day and reminding us that anxiety is as old as knitting.”

Kevin Atherton

“I made the cloth for Wave on a hand operated double bed Dubied. My machine is a 7 gauge one – in industry finer automated versions manufacture plain jersey cloths. From 2004 I started saving the empty packets from my anti anxiety medication. These foiled plastic blister packs are not recycled in the UK so go to landfill or into the oceans. Using a clear 80 denier extruded nylon yarn I cut up the pill packs and knitted seven sections to piece dye blue in my mum’s jam pan at home. I played with the pieces, wrapping myself in the seven veils and asked my daughter and my lover to take photographs. Time passed. Visiting Russell and Chapple with Keren Luchtenstein I ordered a five foot six by two foot six painter’s canvas which I later placed flat across chair backs with the blues layered on top Over many weeks as I tried to knit other works I enjoyed its presence in the studio. Then one morning I woke with a title and accepted it was time to cease repositioning with pins and stitch down the formation of the final work.”

Susie Freeman