High art? No, just great jumpers


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The Independent Culture

Guerrilla art was never so cuddly. Two of Antony Gormley's naked iron men sculptures, which have faced the winds of Crosby beach in Merseyside since 2005, received unexpected protection this week from an artist armed with wool and knitting needles.

Polish-born Agata Oleksiak, 34, dressed one figure in a pink, purple and green crocheted jumpsuit, while the other appeared overnight in white, grey and black. She said the outfits were "transforming old into new" and that "the pieces have been there for a while and people stop paying attention to them".

Guerrilla knitting, or yarnbombing, has risen as an alternative to graffiti as a way to bring colour to drab, usually urban spaces. Oleksiak has previously dressed the frequently photographed bull sculpture on Wall Street in New York.

Magda Sayeg, based in Houston, is considered the founding mother of the movement, having "knitted" targets as diverse as lampposts and entire buses since 2005. Anyone handy with a pair of needles is encouraged to take part in International Yarn Bombing Day on 9 June.

Even Gormley appears to back the trend, telling the BBC: "I feel that barnacles provide the best cover-up, but this is a very impressive substitute!"