Scottish artist Jo Hamilton studied at the Glasgow School of Art before relocating to Portland, Oregon in the mid-nineties where she saw a show at the local craft museum that inspired a project that would take up the next three years of her creative career. The massive ‘I Crochet Portland’ piece above is based on a composite sketch of the city she loves and started her affair with what she calls ‘crochet painting.’
The series of portraits that followed Hamilton’s original idea started as a dare to her co-workers at the restaurant where she works and developed in to a new project, documenting the people she sees everyday. Jo takes photos of her friends, prints them out and crochets directly from them; there are no graphs, or patterns, or computer programs involved, just her eyes, brain, and hands. She enjoys the simple, humble, and repetitive process of tying millions of knots to complete a larger whole.
Jo plans to continue her portraits of the people of Portland, commission pieces, and of the city itself. She has begun work on her new show, ‘Bodies Are Bridges’ scheduled for June 2010 at downtown Stumptown in Portland.
words Jamie Clifton