CULTURE & ARTS

Proof That Covering Houses In Neon Pink Yarn Makes The World A Better Place

Yarn queen Olek enlisted the help of refugee women to remind the world that having a home matters.

#ourpinkhouse #finland

A photo posted by olek (@oleknyc) on

“Everybody should have a home” is the resounding and incontrovertible message of artist Olek’s recent project “Our Pink House.” If said home is pink, all the better. 

Olek, the world’s reigning queen of all things involving feminism and yarn, is spreading this truth far and wide, with the help of Syrian and Ukrainian refugee women and lots and lots of pink yarn. 

The artist recently outfitted a pink abode in the Swedish community of Avesta with her signature medium ― yarn — creating a bold reminder of how significant a home is to displaced peoples. All the materials were donated, from the building itself to the seemingly infinite spools of pink strings supplied by Red Heart Yarns. 

Most importantly, the public art project could not have come to life without the assistance of the refugee women who volunteered their time, helping to imagine a dream house in the hopes that one day all displaced women would have homes of their own. 

#ourpinkhouse in #Avesta #Sweden in conjunction with the show in the @avestaart museum where you can see my installation and film #intheblinkofaneye We live in challenging times, a changing world filled with conflict, wars and natural disasters. But I like to think that it’s also a world filled with love. Our pink house is about the journey, not just about the artwork itself.  It’s about us coming together as a community.  It’s about helping each other.  In the small Swedish community of Avesta we proved that we are stronger together, that we can make anything happen together.  People from all walks of life came together to make this project possible.  Someone donated the house, another one fixed the electricity and Red Heart Yarns donated the materials.  And of course, most importantly, many women joined us in the effort to make my dream a reality. When I first came to Avesta to install a work of art at the Verket museum, I had originally intended to recreate a traditional home. And I did.  However, when the Syrian and Ukrainian refugees who helped me install my piece started telling me the candid stories of their recent experiences and horrors of their home countries, I decided to blow up my crocheted house to illustrate the current unfortunate situation worldwide where hundred of thousands of people are displaced.  After I exploded the house I wanted to create a positive ending for them as a symbol of a brighter future for all people, especially the ones who have been displaced against their own wills.  Women have the ability to recreate themselves.  No matter how low life might bring us, we can get back on our feet and start anew. We can show everybody that women can build houses, women can make homes.  In 2015 over 21 million people lost their homes due to war and conflicts in their native countries. The pink house, our pink house is a symbol of a bright future filled with hope.  Everybody should have a home. #Olek #oleknyc #teamolek #avestaart2016 #crocheted #home @redheartyarns #loopafterloopmakesthedifference

A photo posted by olek (@oleknyc) on

The number of displaced people around the world is currently the highest ever, according to the UN refugee agency. About one percent of the earth’s population is either “an asylum-seeker, internally displaced or a refugee,” and nearly 100,000 asylum applications were filed by unaccompanied or separated children in 2015. 

Olek was in Sweden as part of a collaboration with the Verket museum, for which the artist originally intended to build a traditional Swedish home. And she did, as she explains on Instagram.

“However, when the Syrian and Ukrainian refugees who helped me install my piece started telling me the candid stories of their recent experiences and horrors of their home countries, I decided to blow up my crocheted house to illustrate the current unfortunate situation worldwide where hundreds of thousands of people are displaced,” she writes online. “After I exploded the house I wanted to create a positive ending for them as a symbol of a brighter future for all people, especially the ones who have been displaced against their own wills. Women have the ability to recreate themselves. No matter how low life might bring us, we can get back on our feet and start anew.”

After completing her house in Avesta, Sweden, Olek embarked on another, equally rose-tinted extreme home makeover, this time in Kerava, Finland. Again, the artistic process was enhanced by the stories shared by the refugee women who donated so much of their time and love to creating a symbol of community. 

Olek’s project shows that, even in the most bewildering and heartbreaking of times, there is still hope. By coming together, sharing their struggles, and creating the possibility of a brighter future, the artists behind “Our Pink House” prove that true bravery is peaceful, collaborative, and neon pink. 

“Women have the ability to recreate themselves,” Olek said in her statement. “No matter how low life might bring us, we can get back on our feet and start anew. We can show everybody that women can build houses, women can make homes.” 

#climbingroofs #ourpinkhouse @taidejamuseokeskus_sinkka #olek

A photo posted by olek (@oleknyc) on

#climbingladders

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#lastdance 💃✈️ and I hope some 💤💤💤 before the new madness around the corner

A photo posted by olek (@oleknyc) on

Windy day in #Kerava today

A video posted by olek (@oleknyc) on

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