Olek Opens Her First Solo Show in London, Complete with Crocheted Text Messages


Olek, New York City’s most popular crochet artist and a personal favorite of Runnin’ Scared, has been abroad for the last few months, and she’s just announced her first UK solo exhibit, “I do not expect to be a mother but I do expect to die alone,” at Tony’s Gallery in London from January 27 to March 23. The exhibit, which begins with an opening reception on the 26th, features crocheted emails and text messages actually received by Olek, “immortalising intimate details of her past relationships.”

We caught up with Olek by email to get a few more details. She writes, “I really do not do anything besides making art. And since I am new to London, and know like 5 people, I was able to isolate myself from the outside world. The whole month before the show at Tony’s, I have been actually sleeping inside the gallery. So when I say — come to see my show which is not just another apartment installation; it is the reflection of life, love, trust, and lust in current times; it is the progression of my life as a woman, as a female artist put together through text messages, emails, and personal objects and experiences… blood, sweat, and tears and cum camouflaged with the sparkle of my colourful cheeky humour, as we all do when carrying on with our lives — it is really the truth.

“Crochet came to me as a result of being totally broke,” she continues. “I had to make a costume in NYC and I had no cash for a sewing machine. I used any materials I could possible find…I even cut my sheets into strips to make pieces. Being resourceful is in my blood as you can see. Crochet is for poor people…that’s why you can find it in almost any culture across the globe. I am just a tiny spider who walked at night in East London collecting items soon to be transformed into crocheted pieces.”

She adds, in the press release for her show: “Dress to the occasion. Don’t bring any sharp objects…and if you ask me how long it took me to crochet it, you’ll have to bring a bottle of Polish vodka to unravel the secret.”

We also asked Olek about the course of her legal battle, which we’ve written about previously on this blog, and for which she was requesting donations last month. She said she’s going to court on Friday and “will know more then… hopefully.”

OLEK – NEW DATES: 27th January – 23rd March 2012 [Tony’s Gallery]