Research Point: Freddie Robbins

I have loved Freddie Robin’s work for some time. She cleverly challenges our preconceived idea of craft particularly knitting by confronting us with challenging and dramatic themes juxtaposed with the soft, usually comforting nature of wool and knitting. Her themes often explore contemporary notions of domesticity and gender and more recently violence, fear and pain.

Her pieces at first look comforting and inviting, drawing us in to explore further. On closer inspection though it becomes clearer what each piece is about and a darker reality reveals itself. Knitted homes of crime – 2002 is a series of soft, knitted 3 dimensional houses that each represent the home of female killers or the houses where the crimes were committed.

By using clever uses of language, plays on words she also challenges our thoughts.

‘It Sucks’ 2005 shows this well. Knitted very traditionally by hand in 2ply Shetland lace yarn, it is a beautifully executed christening shawl. Within the centre are the words It Sucks which is a comment on some women’s mixed feelings on becoming new mothers.