A sweater, lovingly and arduously knit by a mother, incrementally unravels as her daughter treks her way across Canada by foot. Along the way, the film tugs at the crossed threads of familial ties, art versus craft, gendered materiality, and the relationship we have with mother nature and her great divide.
“The Knits” is a loving yet humorous homage to the artist’s mother and her chronic affliction of “the Knits”.
Lisa Birke is an award winning Canadian video artist who situates between the traditions of painting, digital video and performance art. She has had solo exhibitions across Canada and her short films have been screened at film/video festivals and media centres internationally, including amongst others: Vancouver International Film Festival (Canada), European Film Festival (touring), BLOW-UP Chicago Int. Arthouse Film Fest (USA), Athens International Film + Video Festival (USA), ARTVIDEO LAB (France), InShadow International Festival of Video, Performance and Technologies (Portugal), Cologne OFF X (USA, Israel, India), Cold Cuts Video Festival (Canada), International Short Film Week Regensburg (Germany), SESIFF(Seoul international Extreme-Short Image & Film Festival), and AVIFF (Art Film Festival Cannes) amongst many others. "Red Carpet" was awarded the “Lakehead Juror's Prize” and the “Audience Choice Award” at the Orillia Museum of Art & History in Orillia (Canada) in 2014. The short film "Calendar Girls" was awarded a “Jury Award for Creative Achievement” at the Arizona International Film Festival (USA), the Jury Award at ForadCamp (Barcelona) in 2015 and was recently presented at Manif d'/Art (the Quebec City biennale). Birke recently created projects for CAFKA 16 (Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener and Area) and the Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery. "The Knits" was completed with an Ontario Arts Council Media Artists Project Creation Grant.
Lisa Birke is Lecturer at the University of Waterloo in the Fine Arts and the Global Business and Digital Arts programs.