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Malia Penhall: Cozie Knit Wit Forest

Knit-wit Forest  Photo by Chuck Johnson

Cozie Knit Wit Forest – Photo by Chuck Johnson

Artist’s Statement

The Cozie Knit Wit Forest is located within a cluster of trees on the corner of N and 8th Streets Arcata, CA, in the Creamery District.  I knit ten tree cozies with unique color schemes out of yarn.  I then swaddled ten trees’ trunks with the hand knit cozies.  I created multicolored handmade pom-poms to hang like furry fruits from the trees.   For the Creamery Festival I also created three knitted seating poufs in the circle of trees.

When I created the Cozy Knit Wit Forest I wanted to make an imaginative, unique outdoor space in the district that was inviting to be in.  My hope is viewers to become visually intrigued by the larger knitted punches of color that decorate the little forest and then take the time to relax in the green space.  I wanted to make a space that would inspire people and be a place they would want to come back to.  I want the Cozie Knit Wit Forest to break up the industrial mechanical objects in the district and change the landscape with handmade items. I feel that this personal touch and interaction symbolizes what we as a community are doing in the Creamery District.

Since the piece was installed many people have interacted with the space.  Some people have added art objects to the forest; my favorite so far is the decorated bicycle.  People have created dance pieces in the space and others have taken photos.  The majority of people I have observed have just enjoyed the unique setting of the Cozie Knit Wit Forest.  Every time I go back to visit there are people relaxing in the space or there are hints that others have passed though.  I can tell that people really take delight in the space because the forest is always evolving with people’s artistic input.