Over the past two months, trees in the small park over the residents’ fence have gained colourful, hand-knitted jumpers.
Yarn bombing is normally associated with street art and activism, but the guerrilla knitting activities of these elderly residents is intended to conjure nothing but smiles from neighbours, residents and staff.
The colourful cosies have captured the attention of the City of Joondalup, which passed a motion to consider introducing yarn bombing as a way to activate public spaces across the city.
The motion, tabled by Cr John Logan on February 16, mentions the MercyCare residents’ work and asks the Chief Executive Officer to consider “a mechanism whereby local communities can add colour and vibrancy to their neighbourhoods, and enhance community involvement and social connection, through activities such as yarn bombing.”
MercyCare Lifestyle Therapy and Spirituality Coordinator Jess Howat said she was thrilled with the reaction the resident’s yarn bombing project has received and the happy vibe it’s created.
“Colour can have such a positive effect on people,” Ms Howat said.
“All our residents have noticed the trees and even their families comment on it during visits.
“We’ve even received a letter from a couple of local children who ride their bikes in that park.”
The yarn-storming is the work of a group of avid knitters – elderly residents who come together every week to ‘knit one, purl one’ over a cuppa and chat.
Ms Howat and her team discovered hundreds of knitted squares on their craft shelves and instead of turning them into blankets, they decided to get creative and put them to good use.
“It shows our aged care residents have so much to give to their community,” she said.
“It’s encouraged residents to be part of something bold and something bigger.”
MercyCare CEO Anthony Smith said the yarn bombing project was a fantastic example of the myriad of ways aged care residents continue to contribute and participate in our communities.
“Our residents’ wonderful yarn bombing project has not only brightened spirits it’s brought people together – residents, their families, staff and local neighbours,” Mr Smith said.
“I think it’s wonderful that their handiwork may inspire other community groups across the City of Joondalup to participate and add their own creative touch to shared spaces.”
The City of Joondalup, arborists and other experts were consulted before the knitted creations were installed.