INVISIBLE JUMPERS PROJECT
Nina Dodd (knitter)
& Joseph Ford (photographer)
As an avid bus rider, british knitter Nina Dodd began wondering what it might be like to knit a jumper (aka sweater in British) that blended into the bus upholstery. She then met photographer Joseph Ford and the collaborative project Invisible Jumpers came to life. The sweaters and other knitted items act like a kind of camouflage, creating an optical illusion as the wearer disappears into the background, which is often a place to which they are personally connected.
Now compiled into a book of the same name, Dodd & Ford’s creations are very time-consuming to craft. Ford finds a location he wants to photograph ― place that won’t change too quickly since it will then take Dodd several weeks to knit something that will blend into the location. Strangely enough, nowhere in most of the descriptions of this project is their discussion of the design of the sweaters themselves (which is a whole art in itself). Then there is the work of photographing the subject in the location in just such a way that they blend in.
“My joy of knitting and quirky ideas have found me exploring beyond tea cosies and scarves into a creative artistic world that challenges me as a knitter and encourages me to push wool to its limits.” ―Nina Dodd
Links for Further Exploration
- Colossal Article (2018): Custom Hand-Knit Sweaters Blend Subjects into Urban Environments
- Colossal Article (2019): Knitted Camouflage’s Models Blend into the Background in a New Art Book
- Photographer Joseph Ford’s website page for the Jumpers Project
- Knitter Nina Dodd’s website page about project
- The Guardian Article: “Camouflage Knitting in Pictures”
- Interview: “Interview: People Blend into Their Surroundings with Knitted Camouflage”
- Other Related Artists to Explore/Enjoy:
- Anna Hrachovec & Mini Mochiland (uses miniature knitted creatures & stop motion photography)
- Andrea Love (fiber artist/stop motion photographer)
- Tanaka Tasuya miniature photographer (no fiber arts connection, but subverting scale and point-of-view with photography and miniatures like the Jumpers Project does)
Invitation to Creativity
The Invisible Jumpers Project was mainly about camouflage or optical illusion, but also focuses on beings and objects in specially chosen habitats.
Arrange some of your crafted objects (finished or unfinished) in a “habitat” – it could be the one you craft in or one that you find or create (outside or another location).
Or use your crafted items to create a habitat for smaller everyday objects or action figures or dolls (small enough that your crafted piece(s) can become a backdrop or home).
Document it all with photos.
See what playful or obscure juxtapositions emerge. Do you see your fiber objects in a different way? Post and share your images and thoughts to the blog!