By Namrata Juneja

Polish artist OLEK is a force to reckon with. With crochet as her tool of choice, she has taken the art and fashion world by storm, and is now spurring change in daily life. With St+art Delhi, she has amassed a fleet of volunteers to help her knit yards of crochet to cover a range of night shelters in the city. These crochet installations serve a three-fold purpose- to create awareness about the government’s initiative to provide temporary shelters for the needy, to empower women {who make up a majority of the volunteers} and to touch the lives of the homeless in Delhi.

One has already been completed, and put on the night shelter at Sarai Kale Khan, and there are more to go. OLEK and the volunteers operate from a workshop in South extension. The message she hopes to relay to her volunteers is that their work matters. They’re making a difference, no matter if it’s big or small.

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The completed installation at Sarai Kale Khan

Why crochet? The ancient knitting technique, to OLEK, represents the intertwined nature of human life and its complexities. She also uses bright colors to weave stories about the everyday, especially ones that focus on sexuality, feminism and the evolution of communication. There has been immense support for her endeavor for Street Art Delhi from the government, public organizations and the art industry. Renowned designers like Tarun Tahiliani and Manish Arora have contributed by providing fabric, while Allkraftz and Usha Sewing Machines {to name a few} have provided additional materials. It’s a project of massive scale, but she has the vision to see it through.

You can watch this space for further updates.

To read more about OLEK, visit St+art Delhi’s website, here.

To get visual treats from St+art, follow their Instagram here.

Follow them on Facebook here.