Ask any Adelaidean what our city is most renowned for and they’ll be sure to supply you with one of the following:
a) Our extensive list of festivals and sporting events
b) Our highly-acclaimed wine and culture
c) Our infinite beachfronts
All play a pivotal role in the upkeep of our city’s uniqueness. One could even argue that Stobie poles, pie floaters and Balfours’ frog cakes are attributed to our southern coastal town’s allure. But for city-dwellers in the know (of which, admittedly, there are few), it are the lesser-known landmarks that have provided Adelaide its own identity.
The “Random Art on the Hill” in Blackwood; the unmistakable Men in Black cutout that’s been peering out of a window on Cross Roads circa 1998; or what about the tiny, almost-indiscernible door outside the front of Naked on Rundle Street?
Someone – or something – is behind it all.
Curiosity successfully aroused, I recently took it upon myself to delve deeper into Adelaide’s profusion of unexplained phenomena. And that journey ― like the one our forefathers embarked on in 1770 ― led me to lands previously unknown.
For the pioneering settlers, the final destination was Australia.
For me, it was Yarnbombing.
As dubious as the title may sound, Yarnbombing – although a concept not entirely brand new – has had a recent revolutionary impact on Adelaidean street art. With knitted garments replacing spray-paint, however, the finger of blame is more likely to be directed at one’s grandmother than any misbehaving delinquent.
Responsible for the outbreak is Radical Craft Adelaide, a group of harmless-looking insurgents with unrivalled knitting abilities. The self-titled ‘Knit Ninjas’ are taking the city by storm, besieging it in the dead of night with scarfs and teacozies and other unidentifiable woollen apparel.
Although lovingly-crafted, these crocheted bits and bobs are the trendiest form of public defacement, found attached to anything from streetlamps to bike racks. And – much like the wildly-rampant Einstein on a Bike graffiti plastered around town – once you spot one, you can’t stop.
While out exploring, I was fortunate enough to stumble upon several of the woollen perpetrators myself. One of which was attached, rather incongruously, to the door handle of Hinley Street’s The Reading Room. Adding credence to the graffiti’s remarkable powers of duplicity, the boys inside hadn’t even realised they’d been targeted!
So the next time you’re out and about in Adelaide, be sure to keep a vigilant look out!
For more information on Radical Craft Adelaide visit their Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=142928827216
Or send an email to: [email protected]