Crossover (2011)

Carlyn Yandle

The intersection of No. 1 Road and Moncton Street.

Area: Steveston
Location: The pedestrian "x" crosswalk design in the pavement of the intersection.

Materials: Thermoplastic in asphalt

Program: Civic
Ownership: Civic
Sponsored By: Transportation Department, City of Richmond

Description of Work

The design concept came immediately: a simple white netting pattern in lieu of the typical crosswalk lines. The universal process of knotting spans all cultures and human history, and would tie in and weave through other public artworks in the area.

The crosswalk pattern was conceived as a double-take experience for the pedestrians using it. On first glance, it’s a clearly marked indicator of foot travel but in the course of that travel, the public would notice that there’s a story afoot. Drivers would be forced to slow down in order to see beyond the white lines.

The pattern was abstracted to create lines of ovoids in order to open up possibilities of other references besides fishnetting, such as fish scales or schools of fish.

The juxtaposition of the globally recognized ancient and handmade knot/twist design embedded in a modern mechanical surfacing process provides further interest, as does the balance between the organic and linear.

Artist Statement

I apply a career journalist’s approach to art-making by challenging assumed boundaries and values, specifically of various craft processes that draw on 40 years of gaining skills ranging from needlework to metalwork.

New understandings are suggested through the mash-up of oppositional materials: a quilt is made of construction scraps; a sweater pattern incorporates political commentary; a doily pops up as a graffiti tag; macrame becomes a crosswalk. Limits are challenged in technique: industrial power tools replace meditative handwork; a painting is created with a rug hook. There is also the disputed territory of space and place: a functional household decorative object becomes street art; crochet is employed in mathematical modeling.

Visually messing in the uncertain areas between the handmade and the industrial calls into question assumptions about low art and high art, the masculine and feminine, the primitive and civilized. The whimsical results of fusing oppositional elements are key to this furtive art practice. The ultimate goal is to consider power relationships through the fine art of disarmament.