Akiko Miyake




Knitting & Stitching Show

The 2001 Knitting & Stitching Show:

exhibited work

'Cosmic Dust'







My works are constructed from many small pieces.

I begin by making many small knitted pieces. At this stage I use the simplest techniques and fabrics. I tie-dye these pieces and then, only after this, do I think of them as my 'raw materials', ready to use.

When I begin my work I spread the pieces out widely across the floor. I put my favourite bits in the centre and keep adding more and more pieces around them. This process tends to excite my imagination, as the shape of a sweater starts to gradually emerge. During this process, I enjoy changing the order of some of the pieces or moving them from front to back. Whilst I am working these are the most satisfying moments, giving me such a sense of mental freedom that I feel as if all my tensions were melting away. The moment I have been waiting for and slightly dreading is when I have to combine the pieces together into their final positions, and make up the completed form. Sometimes, at this stage, I have to watch while everything hopelessly slips out of control, away from my original intensions. 

I am most attracted to irregular shapes, uneven contrasts, items that stick out from their surroundings. It's possible that the reasons for this may be buried somewhere in my mind, but I suspect the real reason may be wishful thinking that such features might succeed in covering up weaknesses of technique. Nevertheless, rather than control all elements of my work or try to achieve a sense of perfect balance and harmony, I have a taste for different flavours: those that carry a sense of freedom and danger, fragile qualities.

I saw and discovered so many unexpected things through making those small knitted pieces, that now the possibilities seem endless. I am fascinated by how each piece acquires an identity of its own, sometimes with more than one character, and yet when fused together with other pieces can become part of an unexpected harmony: this is simply brilliant…

So: from now on I will continue down this road, looking for new possibilities in the same methods and techniques, and trying and hoping to develop further. 
Message: It's a great pity that job commitments prevent me from attending this show. I'll have fun imagining the scene, and I am sure I'll see plenty of photographs later from those that do attend. I will, however, look forward to hearing any feedback about our exhibition and my work. I am delighted that we 'knitting-loving Japanese' can show our work in the United Kingdom and I would like to express my deep appreciation to the organizers of the 'Knitting and Stitching Show' for this wonderful opportunity. I think it has helped me realise that when the chance comes you should push yourself harder to try and take it, and I feel really encouraged to keep following my own steady path and to try and create something uniquely my own.