06 May, 2022

100 years of climate – What a yarn!

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Artist Sandra Lepore has spent more than two years and over 520 hours crocheting 100 years of Adelaide’s daily maximum temperature in yarn – now on exhibition at City Library and Francis Street laneway this History Festival.

Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor is thrilled to officially launch The 100 Year Climate Yarn opening event at the City Library at 5:30pm Friday, 6 May.

“This is such an impressive piece given it has been well over two years in the making and that it is a genuine conversation starter,” said the Lord Mayor.

“It is a large-scale crocheted data artwork that welcomes public interaction, touch, and discovery. By exploring it you can find out the temperature on the date of your birth, your parents’ wedding day or the day you arrived in Australia.”

Inspired by yarn crafters around the world making temperature scarves and blankets, Sandra’s labour of love represents Adelaide’s daily maximum temperatures from 1920-2020.

The 100 Year Climate Yarn took me over 520 hours to crochet and embroider – it was a labour of love and discovery. I always wanted the Climate Yarn to be displayed somewhere the public could get close to it, where it could perhaps start conversations and entice people to think about climate change locally,” said the artist.

“I wanted to represent our story, our local temperature history, here in Adelaide; to explore and show that here, we too have experienced climate change. We too have the power to stop it.”

The artist worked in collaboration with Energy and Climate expert Heather Smith to source the data and program the pattern for the artwork. Using 100 per cent Australian 8ply wool, they carefully selected colours to emphasise the extreme temperatures.

"I've enjoyed the deep dive into Adelaide's weather data. It has helped me appreciate the dedication to recording accurate information that has been with us since the 18th century and is upheld today by the Bureau of Meteorology,” said Heather.

“It has reminded me that missing data often reflects urgent events like the two world wars. It has made me wonder what heatwaves were like without the benefits we have today of airconditioned homes.
Finally, it has reminded me of our fortune to live in a delightful climate, even while the shadow of climate change and the urgency to act weighs on my conscience.”

The exhibition will be on display in the Central Hanging Space of the City Library throughout May for History Festival. It will then tour to the North Adelaide Community Centre for exhibition throughout June.

Find out more about the City of Adelaide’s Library programs.

For more information

Matthew Halliwell