Kirsten Frederick

“You crochet WHAT?!” - Joe Public

Fusing kitsch, nostalgia, craft and playful perversity, Sydney-based artist Kirsten Frederick’s creates woolly delights seemingly straight out of a naughty nanny’s craft box. Her phallic creations and crocheted reinterpretations of male genitalia amuse and titillate, even shock with their vibrant colours, outlandish shapes and breathtaking array of sizes.

A knitwear designer for 15 years, Kirsten has created one-off couture for Australian labels such as Cohen et Sabine, Vicious Threads and Beauty of Nature, and department store Myer. Challenged by a friend, she knitted a phallus-shaped scarf in 2007. The resulting design was extremely well received has become her signature piece. However, as she knitted, Kirsten was deep in thought about creating a phallus that spanned three dimensions. Swapping her knitting needles for a crochet hook, the series of “knots” yielded by crochet gave the artist a more texturally stimulating palette with which to work.

Kirsten's first solo show, Work the Ball, was in June 2008 at Blank Space Gallery, Sydney; a collection of over 30 soft sculptures. It featured, among other works, visual and linguistic gags such as a metre-long door trouser snake, and two crocheted members in the throes of a 'cock fight' in a cage.

Since then Kirsten continues to hone her craft, mainly through consultations with knit and crochet “elders” in the Australian community. She is influenced by the works of international artists such as Patricia Waller (Germany), Ming Yi Sung (Chicago), Ken Kagami (Japan) and Jack Davis (Santa Cruz), all of whom explore or reference sex and humour in their artmaking.

Kirsten created a collection of new phallic works based on a tongue-in-cheek study of Every Girl's Big Day and its players. Here Comes the Bride was her first online showing with Michael Reid Gallery in October 2011, the second being Pop Tarts Presents in late 2012.

Having just finished ‘Growers and Showers’ again with Michael Reid in February 2015 Kirsten continues to obsessively crochet and knit all manner of botanical forms that pay homage to the male member.

Published Work

Textile Fibre Forum – Issue 1, 2012