This piece is made using a combination of knitting techniques:
- double-knitting, which produces the two images on the two sides of the fabric, and
- illusion knitting, which uses the different shapes of plain and purl stitches to create an image which appears when the piece is viewed from the side
When viewed straight on, the piece shows a lifejacket, symbolising the thousands who have lost their lives trying to reach Europe by crossing the Mediterranean in small boats.
As part of the Schengen agreement between European governments, transport companies (such as airlines) are fined if they bring people into Europe who are later refused entry. This has forced people to use more hazardous methods if they need to flee their homes and seek asylum in Europe. Denying safe passage to refugees has led directly to many deaths.
When viewed from the side, you can see a handshake, symbolising the informal networks of solidarity which have developed all over Europe, offering shelter, food and human connection to refugees.
One of these networks is called Phone Credit for Refugees and Displaced People. Organised through Facebook, the group enables donors to top up phones for refugees who are living in unsafe conditions across Europe and beyond. They always need more donations and support.