Who is KNITSONIK?
I am Felicity Ford, artist and academic, currently employed at Oxford Brookes University as an early career research fellow. I completed my PhD in 2011, and the title of my thesis was ‘The Domestic Soundscape and beyond… presenting everyday sounds to audiences’. Although I work with a variety of media including silk-screen printing and hand-knitting, I am best known for creative uses of recorded sound. My projects use field-recordings and interviews to explore the meaning of objects and social contexts.
Domestic themes – food, clothing, shelter – preoccupy my creative work, and recent commissions include ’Sonic Wallpapers‘ (funded by Museum of Domestic design and Architecture) in which historic wallpapers were explored through sound; a soundtrack for a 1930s antenatal care film,’Bathing & Dressing‘ (funded by The Wellcome Library and The British Film Institute); and a hand-knitted sound-system, ’Hûrd A KNITSONIK™ PRODUKTION‘ which combined wool and sounds taken from Cumbrian sheep farms (funded by The Wool Marketing Board and Rheged Art Gallery). I blog at thedomesticsoundscape.com/wordpress.
What is KNITSONIK?
KNITSONIK is a division of my work in which I use sonic practices to explore the social, historic and geographic aspects of woolen textiles and clothing. KNITSONIK projects unite my enthusiasm for both wool and sounds, and synthesise ideas from hand-knitting and field-recording into a working artistic and research practice.
KNITSONIK ventures investigate relationships between woolen textiles and sounds in different ways which include:
- embedding ideas about sound and listening directly into wearable garments through hand-knitting
- uniting textile objects with recorded sounds which convey their origins in distinctive places
- using sound within the knitting community to explore different ways of thinking about the wool that we work with
- amplifying wool both symbolically and literally
For updates on the KNITSONIK mission, please sign up on the left to the quarterly KNITSONIK newsletter!
Past, present and future for KNITSONIK
I founded KNITSONIK in 2005 when I hand-knitted a sound-system, and the project has grown from there. Current ventures include releasing knitting patterns with associated audio, and giving a presentation at Shetland Wool Week 2013 entitled ‘Listening to Shetland Wool’ in my capacity of this year’s guest patron.