Historical information

WARM was a community textile art project that saw over 250 knitters come together to create a beautiful collage tapestry. Made entirely from wool, the artwork contains more than 1000 individual hand knitted sections. The project takes aim at global warming, it highlights both the causes and solutions for us to create a sustainable and safe climate for future generations. Lisa Kendal, the co-creator of the project, said “One of the problems in the world is that we have forgotten how to warm ourselves with wool. We have become too dependent on fossil fuels (for heating)”. This is the key idea surrounding the project.

WARM began as two large scale images created by Lars Stenberg. The first image is a landscape scarred by coal mining. The second image is the same landscape only many decades later. Regeneration and regrowth have taken over the landscape and hidden the past coal mine completely. In its place is a beautiful landscape including trees, native flowers, a lake, lots of greenery and wind turbines.

From March to the end of August in 2016, knitters worked hard to create the over one thousand pieces that came together to form the final tapestry. The pieces were all designed by Fibre Artist Georgie Nicolson of Tikki Knitting Designs, who converted the second image of the healed landscape into patterns for the 250 plus knitters to follow. These patterns included unusual designs such as gum leaves, trees, native flowers and even the wind turbines. During several days of installation, the knitted pieces were stitched together by Lars Stenberg over a picture of the first image of the operational coal mine. They worked to create the second image of the renewed landscape; like an enormous collage.

The WARM project was donated to the National Wool Museum in 2021. It was a much-loved hanging within the Ballarat Hospital for many years before coming to the museum. More information about the project can be found on the following website. http://www.seam.org.au/warm

Physical description

The tapestry is made from 1000+ hand knitted sections stitched together to make an image. In the foreground of this image is a large gum tree that stretches from the bottom left to the top right corner. The trunk of this tree follows the left edge of the tapestry, with foliage from the gum tree spanning its top border.
The bottom third of the tapestry is predominantly green grass with yellow, pink and red flowers providing sporadic colour.
The middle third encompasses a lake, with orange colours surrounding the banks of the water as opposed to the green grasses of the bottom third. To the right of the lake are wind turbines.
The top third of the tapestry is blue sky with white clouds. It also contains the previously described gum tree leaves.
Each piece of the tapestry is 100% wool and was hand knitted and stitched together.
The Tapestry is accompanied by an oil painting on canvas. It is a painting that matches the tapestry and served as a template for the final tapestry.
Finally, the tapestry is accompanied by another pointing on wood board. This final panting is of a coal mine. This is the setting before regeneration and regrowth have reclaimed this site, which is the theme captured in the final tapestry.
In the foreground of the coal mine painting is the same gum tree described in the tapestry; however, it is grey and sickle with only 4 leaves visible at the top border, compared to the numerous leaves in the tapestry. Also in the foreground is a broken barb wire fence adding to the unwelcoming nature of the site. The colour scheme of this image is of dark greys and browns. A coal fired power plant can be seen in the final third of the image with four chimneys emitting plumes of smoke into the sky. In front of this power plant is the spiral shape of a coal mine, burrowing deep into the earth’s crust. Inside of the coal mine 3 yellow trucks are seen mining and transporting coal to the top of the mine.