04.11.06 — 10.12.06 ‘I will not leave you comfortless’, Rachael Matthews

The artist-knitter Rachael Matthews creates work in response to rites of passage and storytelling. She previously organised the Completely Knitted Wedding, with the Cast Off Knitting Club at Battersea Pump House Gallery, as part of an exhibition called Ceremony.

In this new exhibition, her knitting patterns become a form of diary in which decisions are cast and then unravelled in response to events in her life. As Rachael weaves her own story together with archetypal narratives, beliefs and superstitions, fantastic worlds are crocheted and coutured into being.

A knitted stork makes its home in a nest of needles and fails to deliver a child. Invading American crayfish are clothed in miniature jumpers with traditional British patterns; their claws flailing, it is uncertain whether they represent comfort or destruction. Crocheted caterpillars metamorphose into butterflies but cannot fly away. The jumper that Rachael knits for the sailor she loves symbolises much more than the offer of comfort on a remote river bank.

Each object contains a story which has been knitted together with humour and honesty and leaves you hoping for a happy ending.