A recent work by Polish crotchet mastermind Olek is stirring the waters off the coast of Mexico.
Last week, Olek, whose real name is Agata Oleksiak, slipped a colorful, fitted cozy over a large, bomb-shaped sculpture at the Isla Mujeres’ underwater museum, Museo Subacuatico de Arte, off the coast of Cancun, to spread the message that the oceanic ecosystem there is a ticking time bomb. According to contemporary art magazine Hi Fructose, Olek's piece “used safe, biodegradable materials and colors that mimic the reds, yellows and browns of the coral reef.”
But now the museum is threatening to sue Olek, claiming she never asked for permission to place the crocheted piece over the sculpture and that her work may have damaged marine life.
"Believe it or not, there is a lot of marine life growing, incrusted in the sculpture, and we gather that this [the cozy] has killed it," museum director Jaime Gonzalez told The Associated Press.
Here's how Olek responded, per the AP: "If they want to sue me, I don't know. I can pay them back with crocheting more underwater sculptures."
The New York-based artist is notorious for her large-scale yarn projects (which consist of slipping brightly colored, knit cozies over objects on the street) and boasts an impressive resume of projects around the world, including crocheting covers for a train car, a boat and even the inside of her own apartment.
Despite the threat of a lawsuit, Olek continues to raise awareness about endangered marine life through her new partnership with oceanic conservation organization PangeaSeed. As part of this collaboration, she's produced a stunning series of underwater crochet installations.
Check out some of them, below:
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