A few days ago we got a curious email from Olek, the crochet artist who has covered much of New York in colorful yarn. She’s been in Europe for a while and did a couple shows in Poland recently.
“I hope you will have a great Holiday season this year,” Olek wrote. “I will be spending it in the Crown Court in London fighting for my freedom.”
We read on and clicked the link that Olek provided to her new website. This is the statement that was approved by her lawyer:
Olek recently arrived in London in order to fulfill a variety of professional engagements; the first of which was to donate a piece of art work to a charitable organization. On October 6th after donating a piece of her art to the charity at a show in London, Olek was involved in an incident with a drunk and aggressive male who behaved reprehensibly.
The incident happened extremely quickly and not knowing anyone in London or able to access her cell phone for numbers she was swept up into the legal system and treated very poorly. This has resulted in very serious charges being leveled against her which she strenuously denies. She has not even had the chance to state her case before a Court and she must await a statutory timetable before she can present her case properly.
She has now been fortunate enough to be referred on to an appropriate lawyer to defend her against these entirely false allegations, but effective legal representation in cases like this comes at a cost. Today, she needs your help to assist her to get through this terrible and unfair ordeal. At the moment she is facing serious charges with a risk of custody if she is not represented properly and able to expose the untruths and falsehoods in the allegations made against her.
We haven’t been able to get Olek to tell us the exact nature of the incident or the charges against her. She says that her lawyer was able to get her permission to attend her shows in Poland (where her work was vandalized) and that they were able to overturn a court-ordered curfew that lasted for over a month in which “I had to stay home between 8pm – 6am each night and wear a plastic tracking bracelet around my ankle.”
Olek is trying to raise funds to pay for her legal defense. Like one would with a Kickstarter, she is offering various gifts in exchange for different donations (postcards, prints, etc).
We’ve reached out to Olek’s lawyer and are waiting for a response.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 14, 2011