Yarn bombers strike again on public art in Berkeley

The underground knitting activists have struck again, and this time their target is one of the pair of imposing sculptures on Berkeley’s  I-80 pedestrian overpass near University Avenue. The sculpture on the east side of the bridge now features a knitted cozy covering the book of the reader in the work of art.

The sculpture, called “Berkeley Big People,” is by Emeryville artist Scott Donahue and was erected in 2008. It immortalizes Berkeley’s greatest protests, from People’s Park to disability rights, and includes fist-waving demonstrators as well as tree sitters. It has not been universally embraced.

In May, Berkeleyside broke the story of a stealth knitting operation which resulted in the “Here and There” art work on the Oakland-Berkeley border being adorned with a cozy on the letter “T” of the word “There”. The City of Berkeley said it  wanted the cozy removed as it was unlawful, but the knitted cover is still in place and appears to be remarkably hardy given the weather it has been subjected to.

Yarn bombing has become a worldwide movement that aims to “improve the urban landscape one stitch at at time”.

Photos: Tracey Taylor.